Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Insight - Leading our children into the future - By Michelle Libby

Sometimes with a nudge and sometimes with a 2x4 we have to push our children into the future. How and what they choose to do with their lives often depends on how we have modeled and guided them over the years. 

I find myself listening to my children talk to others and am often surprised at how often my words come out of their mouths. Sometimes I like what they are saying, other times I wish I could change what I said. 

Beyond what is said, actions speak louder than words. This morning I waited at the end of my road to be let onto Route 302. It was busy and cars were backed way up. No one was going anywhere fast, yet car after car passed by and didn’t let me out. My soon-to-be-driving daughter noticed this. Finally someone stopped, flashed their lights and let me into traffic. I waved and pulled out. (Thanks again to that driver.) 

What did my daughter learn from this encounter? Stopping for a car was some goodwill toward another driver and that when someone does something nice for you, you acknowledge it with a wave.

This is the season for doing nice things for others. One thing we do is donate to Toys for Tots, a USMC program that gives toys to underprivileged children. We try to find something unique and make a big deal out of dropping it off as a family. I’m hoping that when my children are on their own, they will remember this and contribute. This is especially meaningful, since their father is a Marine and has worked with the Toys for Tots program. 

Whether dropping coins in the Salvation Army red kettle outside Walmart or at the mall, dropping off a used coat for someone in need, doing for others and letting your children in on it makes them stronger and better people. 

Even if a family can’t afford to buy items for others, letting the car out into traffic or some other small way to make a connection with other human beings, is a great message to send to the future generations.

-          Michelle Libby  

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