Written by Rachel Thomas
It started with my grandmother and then my mother after her. All my life I have heard them say, “If you don’t make your kids think of you they won’t; you have to make them think of you and others.” My grandmother must have learned it the hard way because I remember her saying it over and over again to my mom. I guess my mom did not fully understand what gram was saying because she pretty much lived her life on the premise that her kids would follow her example. Between me and my two brothers it did not work out that way for her.
Oh, I do not mean we do not love our mom but we did not exactly pick up by osmosis what vibes mom was putting out. Mom, in later years, has been blessed with children who do love her and are attentive to her needs because she has been so loving all of our lives but in the beginning we took advantage of her great love. In other words, loving your kids is not enough to produce love in return. You actually have to make them think of you and other people.
Upon having my own children I decided early on, remembering what gram used to say and watching mom being hurt by children who were not thoughtful, that I would make my children thoughtful. The most simplistic way of doing this is by telling them exactly what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. I would not depend upon my spouse to tell the kids, because quite frankly I believe my spouse was not taught to be thoughtful either. It sounds as if we are horrible people, but it is not so, being thoughtful of others when the whole world is moving so fast and everyone’s natural priority is to look out for number one has to be taught. Every time my birthday, Christmas, Mother/Father’s Day would come around I would tell my children that I expected a card from them. I told them it did not matter if they bought it or made it but I wanted an expression from their heart. We are not born with these instincts, we are taught.
One of my favorite scriptures from the Bible is “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3.Give this gift to your children of thinking of others. I know that the world today is geared in a way that we are taught to get noticed and put ourselves out there and get ahead. There is a time and a place for everything but I truly believe that if you are thoughtful of others that you will get noticed because of your humility and thoughtfulness combined with intelligence and diligence in the activity you are pursuing.
About the Author:
Rachel is an ex-babysitting pro as well as a professional writer and blogger. She is a graduate from Iowa State University and currently writes for www.babysitting.net. She welcomes questions/comments which can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.