Obviously I know I can't make my boys grow up to be anything but what they want to be, but there is still some say I have in that matter! I've been thinking about the types of things I admire myself and my close friends and family for. With those values in mind, I have been thinking of ways to instill those values into the boys.
I started by thinking about qualities that I most admire... Honesty, Generosity, Knowledge, Open Mindedness, Passion, Idependence, Self-confidence, Individuality, Trustworthiness, and being Family Oriented. I also thought about why those are so important to me and how I can be a better example for my children by bringing those values into my everyday life more often.
So, my newest goal is to show them... I want to show them that family is the most important thing to me; that THEY are the most important thing to me. I don't have many childhood memories, but most of my fondest memories include my closet friends and family.
I remember cuddling with my mom on the couch as we read books together. What values did that instill in me? The importance if knowledge.
Dinner time at dad's house... Traditions that families should uphold.
Horseshows every weekend... Having a passion and nurturing it.
The list can go on and on...
I have realized that I have been displaying some of these values without even 'thinking' about it. Ben makes fun of me when I ask him to sit at the table every time he eats (even if Parker [and Preston] and I just sit there and watch him eat), but I want our kids to see the dining room table not only as a place where we eat, but also as a place where we come together. Ben also makes fun of me (I guess I am quite funny) when I talk about all of the traditions that mean a lot to me or that I want to start. From the Christmas tree going up the day after Thanksgiving to what the Easter Bunny will be leaving in the Easter baskets, and everything in-between. I just think traditions are so much fun and a great way to come together as a family, as corny as they may be! I have been trying to show Parker how important school is and how much fun he can have while he is there. He is currently in a parent-child class on Wednesdays (which I take him to) and then he and Preston are both in a class on Fridays, which both Ben and I take them to. We all have so much fun together and I hope the passion to learn, create and explore continues in them forever! I try to get home for visits as much as possible so the boys can see their 'Nanas' 'Bapas' 'Aunties' and 'Uncles'. Obviously, I wish we could visit everyone even more, but for now I am doing what I can!
When my kids look back at their childhoods I want them to of course have great memories, but more importantly I want them to remember how important I made them feel, how much fun they had growing up, how important our family was, and the opportunities I gave them to just be themselves.
There is so much that I want to teach them and I am hoping that being a 'constant' in their lives will show them that I love them more than life itself. I don't want them to not know what to expect from me... I want to be their friend, but more importantly I want to be their role model. I want to show them, through example, the importance of believing in yourself, knowing what is most important to you, and having healthy relationships.
I also want to show them how great their lives can be if they find the right partner (yes... My oldest isn't even two and I'm already worried about the types of girls they could marry). I'm not saying that Ben and I are perfect, but we are perfect for each other. I want the boys to see how important it is to hug and kiss and say 'I love you' (even when you don't always want to). The boys need to see how a healthy relationship works so they can make them for themselves, and that goes for more than just a girlfriend or wife. My goal is to have them figure out what values are important to them so they can live as much of a balanced and happy life as possible.
To sum it all up, I want to live a healthier life, with healthier relationships and lifestyles so my boys will see that these things were important enough for me to make changes, so hopefully they will figure their most important values out sooner rather than later...