05 June, 2014

Things I DON'T want to teach my son

I knew my whole life that I wanted to have kids one day. The answer to what I wanted to be when I grew up changed daily.(I still don’t know!) But I always knew I wanted to be a Mom.
From the moment I found out we were pregnant my head was spinning (as I imagine every first time mom experiences.) I was constantly thinking about what to do and not do, what I wanted to teach my kids, the kind of things I wanted him to experience. Lately, as I watch the news and read stories, I find my mind formulating a list of things NOT to teach my son. I decided to start writing my list down here so I wouldn’t forget. What’s on your list of things you don’t want to teach your kids?
Here’s the beginning of my list:
*Color- I don’t want my son to see people in color. I want race(gender, ethnicity, religion, etc.) to be a non-issue. I don’t just want to teach him not to be prejudiced. I just don’t want him to see it, period.
*Status- Along the same lines as color, I don’t want my son to judge people based on their “status.” I don’t want him to care what kind of clothes they wear, what neighborhood they live in, what toys they do or don’t have. I don’t want money to ever be an issue.
*Disrespect- My least favorite thing to hear people say is, “I hate cops.”(or marines, sailors, soldiers, etc.)This is a disrespect issue. I want my son to respect all authority and I better not ever hear those words come out of his mouth! I want him to know enough to know when adults are abusing their power but I want my son to have respect for everyone until they show that they don’t deserve it.
*Beauty- I want my son to grow up with his own idea of beautiful. I don’t him to be warped by society. I want to teach him that all people are beautiful in their own way. I’m already cautious about using the word ugly, fat, skinny, gross, etc around him. I don’t want him to learn those labels. I want him to be confident in his own appearance despite what society tells him he’s “supposed” to look like. I feel like this is a more important thing to teach little girls about loving themselves, but in order for little girls to feel that way, all of us “boy moms” need to teach our sons that everyone is beautiful. Differences are beautiful. Size, shape, color, texture, scars, marks.. it all makes people unique and want my son to appreciate that. I don’t want him to grow up and think that only the girls on magazine covers are beautiful.
*Dependence- This sounds odd coming from the mom of an 8 month old, I know. But I want my son to grow up to be independent. I want him to think for himself. I want him to make his own choices. I want him to leave the nest without hesitation(ask me about that again in 18 years!;) I want him to know that we will always be there for him, but I want to raise him in a way that when the time comes I can trust his decision making skills. I don’t want him to be one of those kids that is still living with us when he’s 29.
*Quitting- I don’t want my son to grow up thinking if something is hard, you just quit. I want him to learn to follow through with his commitments, that if you say you’re going to do something you do it.
*To be a sheep- I want my son to have a mind of his own. I don’t want to teach him to just go with what others tell him. This goes for us.(Again, I’ll probably regret thinking this down the road.) I want him to question things. I want him to make his own convictions. I want him to make his own choices. Of course I want him to be a christian, but I want him to be a christian because he found Jesus in his heart on his own, not because we told him he has to be.
*Judgement- this will probably be the hardest for me because I am admittedly over judgemental. But I don’t want that for my son, so I am trying to curb it now. I don’t want him to judge anything without getting to know the truth. Whether it be people, a store, a new food, a new experience. I want him to have such an open mind and open heart that he gives everything and everyone more than just one glance.
This is an on-going list. I plan to add to it for the rest of his life. What would you add? What DON’T you want to teach your kids?