Friday, June 13, 2008

My Job

So, there are many things us parents can call ourselves: ambassador of communication, world renowned mac and cheese chef, super cleaner, compassionate doctor of all ills, mediator of fights, the list can go on and on.

I was thinking the other day though, that many of us parents find ourselves in an odd position that our parents and grandparents didn't have (or at least most didn't have): Most of us have the ability to give our kids what they want right away. Either through credit cards, jobs that pay super well, and saving, our generation is blessed in not having to struggle the same ways generations before have. (In general).

My grandparents went through the depression, and my parents didn't even have a telephone when I was born. I remember us getting the first phone actually. My husbands grandparents had a dirt floor in the home they raised 7 children in, my mother in law and Bill's father were far from living a comfortable life when their children were young, let alone having extra money.

And it hit me the other day as Little Dude and I were playing with some toys at Babies R Us, that I had the ability to buy him whatever toys he wanted. To some extent, I HAVE made that mistake and bought him toys or things I thought he really wanted.

Though I want to buy the items for him and fill his every whim, it hit me as I tried to drag him off an over priced tricycle, (and for a brief bit thinking, well, it would be fun for Little Dude to ride and his birthday is coming up...) that I have a most important job title:

Raising a Member of Society.

What type of man do I want Little Dude and his brother to grown into? Certainly not into men that think their every whim should be satisfied immediately or that don't understand the satisfaction in saving quarters to make a dollar, and dollars to get something, or better yet, save. And not the type of men that don't understand you have to work hard and earn what you get out of life-nothing will be handed to you once you leave the nest.

So, in my opinion, our most important job as parents, is teaching our children, empathy, compassion, patiences, morals, work ethic, and a sense of pride when they EARN for themselves something, be it a toy now, car in their teens, or a job promotion in their adult life. Really, molding them into future citizens and leaders of our great country.

I know my children will be fine with the lessons, morals, and skills I want to teach them, but this job title will be harder on me than them-I just have to remember that the next time Little Dude is holding a toy and looking at me.

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