If you had to look at your kids and choose between them being brilliant or having excellent character, which would you choose?
No one holds their newborn and whispers, "I hope you grow to be a brilliant jerk."
And yet, often parents focus so hard on ability they neglect the heart.
It's why we pulled our son from baseball.
The day his coach disagreed with the umpire's call we decided he would no longer be a mentor in our son's life.
He was so mad he stomped his feet, cussed and swore, and threw his hat into the dug out.
Yep. We were done.
Coaches, activities, curriculum, and craziness all take their toll on kids over time.
Many parents send their kids down this slippery slope at lightning speed.
- excusing bad behavior because of shyness, gender, eating habits, sleep, etc...
- over crowding kid's lives with self centered activities
- focusing on ability rather than heart
- accepting high grades paired with grumbling
- rewarding performance while ignoring complaining, back-talking and disrespect
- allowing laziness because they too are exhausted and "just need to relax"
We let self-centeredness and academic or athletic ability rule in the lives of young children.
We let bad behavior reign all for the sake of the game or competition.
And then we complain when kids slam doors, cuss and swear, and refuse to listen when they tall enough to look us in the eyes.
Mom, choose to focus on character.
It's worth it.
A selfish, haughty, grumpy, disrespectful, lazy 12-year brilliant scholar
may be "years ahead" today...
- But will be miserable, lonely, unsatisfiable, angry.
- And alone.
This child will be filled with brains and bitterness and will give excuses for any errors they make.
A loving, kind, generous, respectful, disciplined, responsible, and self-starting 12-year old
who has never received a formal education...
- can be taught how to read, write, and solve math equations in record time.
- will be content.
- will ask for help,
- will learn and move forward.
This child's brain will quickly fill with knowledge.
But their life will be solid and secure because they know they are a valuable PART of this world, not the center of it.
Focus on character.
Be willing to lay aside sports, activities, and books of necessary.
In the end they will thank you.