We want more.
We want more stuff. We want more “likes” on Facebook. We want more friends. We want more vacation time. And yes, we want more for our kids.
But how can we realistically raise compassionate kids content with less when they’re constantly being told more is better?
It starts with us.
Before we can raise uncommon kids, we have to be uncommon ourselves. That means everything you’ve heard about living in the world but not being of it—and then some.
It’s not wrong to want more for your kids, depending on what you want more of.
Every day, I pray for more wisdom, more kindness, more generosity, more joy, more contentment, and yes, more compassion within my children.
Does this mean we ought to strip ourselves and our kids of every creature comfort? Of course not. But it does mean we need to take a harder, more evaluative look at who we are, what we do, what we have, and why we have it.
While a child’s behavior is not always a direct representation of their parent’s influence, a parent’s influence should have a direct impact on the behavior of their child.
Don’t lose heart! Though this may seem daunting initially, you should instead see it as an immediate and effective way to start influencing the legacy you will leave with your children.
Regardless of how you define “uncommon” for your kids, that process has to start with one foundational characteristic: love.
The Bible contains 393 verses that talk about love, including Colossians 3:14, which reminds us to “above all, clothe yourselves with love” (NLT). While that verse may make it seem as though love ought to be the final characteristic we study, I’d argue it should be the first. Without love, the rest of what we do is meaningless.
And where do we learn about love? From the very first father who ever was: our heavenly Father. After all, 1 John 4:8 says “God is love”. If we truly want to show our kids love, we must first understand the most pure and perfect love there is. Before we can understand that, we need to first be willing recipients of such love. For that, we can go only to God.
You may be looking for a quick fix for your kids; I’m here to coach you in paying a little less attention to their behavior and spending a little more time evaluating your own.
It’s been said that we rarely see an accurate picture of what the mirror reflects back to us, and I think that statement is even more accurate with how we see our kids.
If we want our kids to change, the change has to start with us. We don’t need a parenting manual as much as we need to be aware that our kids are going to watch, study and emulate much of what we do and say…so what is it that you want to reflect to them?
Just as you don’t want to hide chips and cookies in your pantry and tell your kids they are “only for Mommy,” you don’t want to confuse your kids by encouraging them in their own spiritual disciplines if you never engage in spiritual disciplines yourself.
Once you’ve laid a foundation of love, your family should begin to understand not just the source of all love, but why we would in turn want to share that love with others, especially within our own home. Moving toward the uncommon may start with one characteristic, but only grows by studying and seeking it out in an entirely new way.
So don’t just strive to have kids ‘like everyone else’. In fact, your goal should be to have kids unlike others. Go ahead and start: Raise uncommon kids.
Today we are giving away a copy of Sami’s book “Raising Uncommon Kids“. Comment below and tell us why you would like a copy of this book. Winner will be picked randomly Saturday after 5pm EST.
Sami Cone is a blogger (SamiCone.com), radio host & TV personality mentoring others to live their dream life on less and pursue their passions. She is the author of “Raising