Raising compassionate kids

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From the moment the stick has 2 faint pink lines…that very moment when it sinks in that you are going to become a mum…a little baby is going to need you every moment, going to rely on every decision you make…the instant love as you hold your squidgy bundle and the explosion that your heart goes through with each smile…kiss…cuddle … and “I love you”…

with each of those moments you vow to do what is best for your most precious blessing. You dream of what your baby will become. You pray that they will be a kind, loving, successful part of society. You wonder if the choices you make are right…you agonise over the littlest decisions and begin researching like you never have before. Suddenly it matters what food you are eating, what the safety level of your car is…what life insurance policy you have.

Being a parent is joyous, overwhelming, extraordinary and exasperating.

Before I became a mum I had often heard that what you want as a parent is ‘happy kids’. 

I absolutely want happy kids…but I also want loving kids, compassionate kids, confident kids, Christ loving kids, living to their full potential kids…the list can go on.

I have been doing some reading on how to raise compassionate kids…and the number one piece of advice, as is so often with raising kids, is to model compassion for your kids to follow. Research shows clearly that when asked where an individual learnt empathy (or didn’t learn) the answer is. ‘My parents’.

Not in all cases, but sometimes,showing compassion means making sacrifices. making sacrifices can be hard enough when you are only considering yourself…but how do you make choices to sacrifice something significant for your children too?

“If each generation gave up their dreams for their children’s sake…then no generation would have anything to show for itself.”

A friend just posted the next quote on Facebook. This is a friend who I am proud of, envious of, worried for and in awe of. She has taken her family to Kigali, Rwanda. Her and her hubby and their 2 little boys. They have made sacrifices for sure. They are passionate about showing love and compassion and raising their boys to be men who do the same. 

“Many times we resist God’s calling because we fear what he might make us do. We forget that his plan is the best possible plan for us. His calling on our lives does not mean that we are doomed to a lifestyle we loathe; rather, it is a calling to experience a fullness of life as we have yet to know it.” Michael youssef.

If I believe this for myself I have to trust that God has the best possible plan for my children too, even if that means changes in all of our lifestyles. It dawned on me the other day that while I get the amazing privilege to nurture and grow my baby in my womb…God gets to put each piece of her or him together. How much he must love them. 

In my quest to raise a ‘happy, loving, nurturing, compassionate, successful … Child (or 3) I hope that I can get past my fear of following God and trust him to know what is best for my family and instead concern myself with being a model of love and compassion for my babies to follow.

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