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It’S In You: The Yin And Yang Of Parenting

By AYANNA CLARKE

It’s impossible to discuss all the potential and promise of kids without looking at their parents. Although kids have other influences such as friends, mentors, teachers and the like, parents are the foundation layers, the main ingredient in who and what a child may become.

The Bible instructs parents to train kids for their future. Do all the groundwork now so that when they are adults themselves they can build their lives and set the foundation for their own kids, from the lessons they learned from you.

One of the first lessons a child learns from parents is their worth and esteem, and to be strong enough to withstand the pressures of young adulthood.

Recently, my WhatsApp status read, “Your talents…innumerable, your worth…inestimable, your essence…indescribable. Why squander yourself on those Incapable of appreciating who you are?”

Parents try to get kids to understand this lesson early in life. You see, one of the most important assets a child possesses is himself/herself. The lesson parents try to teach is never bother with those who only see what you have or for what they can get out of you.

Kids often feel like a parent is keeping them from being independent, or from having fun with this type of lesson; but I firmly believe it is more out of protection. Avoiding persons who will lead you down the wrong path, or try to take advantage of you is perhaps one of the most important lessons a parent can pass on to a child, and paramount, I believe, to their success.

Now, if we are to be completely honest, there is a yin and a yang to parenting. The power to build can also be a power to destroy, if mishandled or abused. (This is me going into teacher mode. You are familiar with this by now)

One morning I tried to dispense water from my water machine. Wouldn’t you know it – nothing came out. Then it dawned on me nothing could come out because that’s exactly what was in the bottle: nothing.

The lesson hit me immediately – in many cases, what you put in is what you get out. An obvious teaching point here is that parents ought to be just as careful about what they expose kids to as to what they keep them from.

For years I built a successful career on getting kids to perform with excellence, demanding their best. Sometimes we had early morning tests and assessments, practice at the beginning of hurricanes (yes in all that rain). One time we had lessons after a hurricane. The roof had been damaged and when it rained water would seep through the ceiling. Because we were in no immediate danger, I didn’t cancel school. We would simply set about mopping water before or after (sometimes during) a lesson.

How did I get a bunch of raucous teens to get stuff like this done? I could place a demand on this type of excellence because the children saw me work early mornings and late nights, weekends, through recess and lunch making sure they had what they needed. I poured this into them and many of them reciprocated in turn.

I was only their teacher, and had such a great influence on them; imagine the power of a parent.

Kids watch, and believe it or not, most of their work ethic, “stick-to-it-iveness”, and determination to succeed is learned from parents. Take a moment to consider all you are pouring into them. Consistent training gives kids their direction and the result of strong adults who can stand under the pressure of what is wrong and still do what is right starts from the lessons passed on by parents.

God bless you this week!

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