|Keri and Devin, the 2 oldest...they grow too fast!!|
When you see your kids making choices that make you proud, you deserve to enjoy the fact that maybe you didn't screw them up too bad:-)
My parenting philosophy has always been the same. I am not sure where I read about this "concept" but it is something that I have held onto while raising my kids. It is the idea that I am not raising toddlers, or preteens or even teens, I am raising adults. They do get to enjoy being kids and teens, but I have an expectation of maturity and of good choices.
My kids have learned early on that the choices they make will impact their lives. Not just today, but for years to come. The choices they make will mold them into who they will become. So, the better the choice, the better the outcome.
I have always been quite open with my children about my past and their fathers past. We have made many mistakes and have regretted many things. We have shared these with our kids (to a point) and we hope that they can learn from our past and not make the same choices. We have also tried to expose our kids to the whole world. Not just who we are and what we believe, but who else is out there and what beliefs do they have?
My goal in raising my children is not to keep them with me for as long as I can, my ultimate goal is to see them leave their home and make an impact on the world. It doesn't have to be a big impact, just to leave their mark for the positive. I want my kids to have a heart for the nations. I want them to be compassionate to others. I want my kids to believe, 150% what they choose to believe. That doesn't mean I want them to believe everything I believe just because we told them to. I want their worldview to be shaped by themselves. How else can they stand up and fight for what they believe if they have no idea why?
My kids have been exposed to many cultures, religions, beliefs and foods. We have celebrated non-Christian holidays. We have read books and stories from other religions and belief systems. We have involved them in many multi-cultural events. We have, ultimately, instilled a love for others by doing this.
We have done something right!!
This summer these 2 kids (the "pre-adults") in the picture above, Keri, who is 12 and Devin, who is 15, will both be going to different countries this summer. They are both going on a missions trip and are looking forward to it.
Devin has been to Guyana and Romania so far and is planning on returning to Romania. He has been working in a nice restaurant as a dishwasher/prep cook. He has been saving his money since he started and is almost to the goal for his trip.
Keri is going on her first missions trip. She is heading to Peru this summer with TeenMania. She is excited and nervous all at the same time. She took over Devins paper route to start saving money and just made her first deposit of $400.00. All her own money!
These are "teenagers", the group that the world says are "disrespectful", "selfish", "self-centred". These are my young adults who are choosing to save their money to make an impact, instead of buying the newest iPod out there. These are my young adults who are going to show the world that not all teenagers fit into the box that is there for them. These are my young adults who have shown me that we have done something right in raising our kids. This is the next generation!
I am so proud of my kids. I am so glad that we have been given this opportunity to train them and see them fill a need. To see them desire to help others. I can already see Grace, our 9 year old, wanting to go soon. It will only be a few more years and we will be sending her! I have also been asked if I am nervous for my kids to go. I am not. At all. I am so glad that they will get to be a part of the bigger picture!
We have succeeded in parenting...we have done what we are supposed to do. We have trained our kids to go. And they are going!!
If you would like to donate to Keri, who will also be fundraising, feel free to go to the TeenMania website and click the link for Global Expeditions. You will need to add her first and last name: Keri Patton and her ID# 2631416 . This site takes Mastercard and Visa. Thank you for any and all support, financial or otherwise:-)
How do you feel when your kids leave?