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I find it interesting that I am writing this article, even though I am not a father yet. I have been studying this subject and found a comment made recently by Dave Ramsey on the Dave Ramsey show very interesting. He hosts a conference called the "Smart Conference." This conference is made up of lots of motivational speakers. He was reviewing some of the meatier pieces of the conference and he talked about something that Meg Meeker said on the stage. The quote is below:
That's a pretty profound statement. Our society can get all caught up in the Presidential election. I am even guilty of this. The beauty of our political system is that one man or woman does not have all of the power. There are checks and balances with in the system to keep somebody from having too much power. That's why it can be crazy to think that a President is the answer to all of our problems. From Bernie Sanders who wants to raise our taxes and give away free stuff to Ted Cruz who wants to take America back to the principles that it was founded on and the others who fall somewhere in between these political views. They have less of an influence on your children than you do. That's the whole point of this statement from Meg Meeker.
Parenthood is a huge challenge, but is also one of the most rewarding times of your life. Since, I am not a parent yet, I began to research Meg Meeker's website and have been taking notes any time Dave Ramsey talks about raising children. My point of view as a teacher does help me with the perspective of raising kids. Even as a teacher, kids will try to challenge and push you. They will try to find out what they can get away with. As teachers and even parents, we have to understand that children want discipline and guidance. They may get upset when you guide them, but they really need our guidance in all things.
Parents need to teach their kids how to be good adults. This does not mean teaching children how to be the perfect child, because being the perfect child does not necessarily correlate with being a good productive member of society. How can we teach our children to be good productive members of society? Meg Meeker believes that we need to teach our children how to be humble, how to handle failures and how to handle money. According to Meg Meeker, the average child spends only 8 hours a week with their parents and 60 hours a week with electronics. This is a disturbing trend, because children are learning more from their devices than they are from their parents. They need to spend more time with their parents learning about life.
Another member of Dave Ramsey's team, Rachel Cruze, co-author of Smart Money, Smart Kids, has a specific quote that connects really well with this idea of teaching our children how to be good adults.
This statement was talked about in an article on daveramsey.com. I see this everyday in my classroom. Rule number one in my classroom is "Be Polite." I am not a mean person and I expect my students to treat everyone in a very respectful manner. This can be challenging for some of my students, but because I am consistent in being being polite as the teacher, then the students follow suit. I have no issues with disrespect, because I believe the students respect my rule of politeness. But they only respect that rule, because I am polite to them.
The same can be said about the children in the household. You can tell them one thing, but unless you model that expectation, then they won't do it. They will do whatever you do, not what you say. If you tell them that drugs are bad, then you go out and do drugs. They will be more likely to do drugs. If you tell them that they need to donate money, then you need to model the donation of money to your children. Rachel Cruze talked about how her parents model their weekly donations to the church, in the book Smart Money, Smart Kids. She has the memory of her father writing that tithe check and dropping in the donation tray engrained in her brain. Her father did that every week and because he modeled giving, she gives. There is no greater learning tool than modeling how to be a good adult to kids. That is how our children learn.