While they, and we are young

by Rod Smith

If at all possible, and, from as young as possible:

Allow your children to be exposed to things multicultural, multiracial, and multilingual. Take the lead and they’ll probably follow.

Expect your children to be responsible for their actions, moods, successes, and for when they miss the mark, especially when it comes to good manners. Assume the lead position so they have someone to follow.

Expect your children to be kind to the ill, the elderly, those alone, those disenfranchised. Initiate, then model such behavior and they’ll think it’s a way life.

Encourage your children to speak their minds, especially if it means speaking up to you. If they can speak up to you with kindness, respect, and forthrightness, they’ll be able to hold their own with anyone, anywhere, and most of the time.

Get yourself out of the way so your children can taste the joy of discovery and learning. And, as much as possible, remain present and engaged as they also discover just how safe you make their worlds. Traverse this paradox while you’re as young as possible and the inner force that propels your sons and daughters into life will find your welcome rather than your surprise or resistance.

I will remind my treasured audience that I am my first audience. Everything I write pertains first to me.

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