The “Three R’s”… Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic? Reduce, Recycle, and Reuse? While those are all important R’s, The Three R’s I’m referring to are Respect, Responsibility, and Resourcefulness. I don’t think these are technically famous R’s, but they play an important role in the way we have chosen to raise our children.
Here are a few ways, we emphasize them in our house and why I consider them important. I’m sure some readers will see these as obvious ways to raise your kids, some may totally disagree with them, and maybe some will be inspired to ponder the great significance of this task they have before them.
Respect- For yourself and others. We try to teach our girls to ask themselves these questions…
- Could my actions hurt anyone – including me?
- Am I being fair?
- How would I feel if somebody did it to me?
- How will I feel about myself after I do it?
- What would my parents or teacher say about it? Basically think twice before you do something you are unsure about, not after.
Responsibility We encourage our girls to…
- Take care of their own duties. Brushing their teeth, cleaning their room, having chores.
- Follow through on commitments. This I believe is about leading by example. If I don’t follow through, or I flake out, I’m teaching them to do the very same thing. It is important that my children know that there is no “getting out of commitments”. If they say they will do something, they must do it, if they’re given an assignment, there are no excuses for not getting it done.
- Answer for their own actions. What they do or don’t do has consequences. For example, on Mondays Kylie goes straight into cheer practice after school. She NEVER remembers to use the restroom, the entire day. This kid’s bladder must be huge! After cheer she always wants to buy a snack, and I have told her if she remembers to use the restroom at some point throughout the day, she can buy a snack. So the first Monday of this new deal, she totally forgot to hold up her side of the bargain, and at the end of the day, no snack. She was devastated, crying and crying. I came to find out she wasn’t crying for the reason I had thought. She wasn’t starving, and her heart wasn’t broken because she HAD to have some Cheeze-Its. She was so disappointed in herself for forgetting. Needless to say the next Monday, she got her snack, but if I had given in, the first time, I guarantee she would not have tried very hard to remember the next week.
- Be trustworthy. Honesty and being someone others can count on and trust is so important. Bottom line.
- Don’t procrastinate. Don’t put things off. Get your homework done now and you’ll have the rest of the day to play. But if you drag your feet, the process will be miserable and your play time will be cut short.
- Always use your head. Think before you follow someone else. Decide if what they are doing is something you think is a good idea.
Resourcefulness By encouraging our kids to practice using their talents and brains, we are equipping them to be independent thinkers and doers. We emphasize….
- Developing Creativity
- Practicing Self-Discipline
- Building Confidence
- Using Intelligence
- Developing Determination
- Having a Relationship with God
- Becoming Courageous
- Gaining Knowledge
- Perfecting Skills
- Keeping a Positive Attitude
- Having Passion
- Developing Awareness
We are now only in our 6th year of parenting, and we’re obviously not experts, but I figure I have only one shot at raising these girls. And even though I work full-time and still maintain my own personal goals and aspirations, this is my most important responsibility. I know there is no perfect formula for raising children, but I’m trying my best to ensure that when they grow up #1 they would have compassion and love God, #2 they would feel comfortable sharing anything with us and consider me a friend in addition to mother and Michael their hero in addition to father, and #3 they would be equipped to succeed in every area they choose to pursue. This includes becoming positive and successful influences on society. Contributors and not takers. A relief and not a burden, and examples of what you can become when you try your best to meet your God-given potential.