What’s the Most Important Thing You Want To Say to Parents and to Children?
To Parents – recognise foremost that your children are individuals and not clones of yourselves. Even though they will share both your genes in one way or another, they have been born with their own individual personalities. Hence, when raising them young, it cannot be a case of “one size fits all”. Nor should there be a desire to reproduce a “carbon-copy” of either father or mother.
In fulfilling God’s desire to have god-fearing offspring (Micah 2:15), bear in mind that after a certain age children learn best by seeing and following examples. “Values are caught not taught” may sound trite but is the truth.
It must also be recognized that at some point in the lives of each of your children they must be considered to be adult. The parent-child relationship will then change dramatically. You progressively cede control and also responsibility to a certain extent. I will stick my neck out a bit by saying that they might even be allowed to make mistakes along the way. The best and lasting thing you’d want to preserve in them is the belief that no matter how life might knock them down, they can always return home to you for recovery and relief.
To Children - Your views of your parents will range from faultless heroes to unreasonable dictators to old-fashioned fogeys. Just bear in mind that childhood is preparation for adulthood and most parents desire to guide and groom you for this. Granted that they do not always do this perfectly nor exactly to you would like or prefer. Yet, more often than not, they do it with loving intent and the wisdom of personal experience and hindsight. This may not become clear until you yourself mature and your own life experiences will demonstrate this to be often true.
So if there’s one word I can say to children, it’s patience. Be patient and wait while allowing the wisdom of your parents’ life experience to keep your growing up safe and nurturing.
Finally to both parents and children – Always love and respect one another as individuals equally loved by God.