No matter who we are, where we live, or what our goals may be, we all have one thing in common: a heritage. That is, a social, emotional and spiritual legacy passed on from parent to child.
Every one of us receives a heritage, lives out a heritage, and gives a heritage to our family. It’s not an option. Parents always pass on to their children a legacy… good, bad, or both. Legacies are learned through interactions, influences, and changes taking place in our day to day existence. Passing on a positive, affirming legacy is so important and a negative legacy can be so destructive. Parents play a basic role in the interpretation of life’s various lessons. They are the best object lessons of living. We inherit traits from them. We imitate their behavior and speak their vocabulary. Parental sacrifice is a necessary virtue in maintaining the stability, unity, and happiness of the home.
In order to prosper, spiritual legacy must not be overlooked. As spiritual beings, we adopt attitudes and beliefs about spiritual matters from one source or another. As parents, we need to take the initiative and present our faith to our children. Practical lessons on family worship, faithful stewardship and obedience to God should be the center of our life. Continuous adherence to the truth learned and submission to the will of God will mold lifestyle and behavior.
In order to prosper, children need to gain the insights and social skills necessary to cultivate healthy, stable relationships. As children mature, they must learn to relate to family members, teachers, peers and friends. Nowhere can appropriate social interaction and relationships be demonstrated more effectively than in the home. At home, children will learn lessons about respect, courtesy, love and involvement. Discipline is not just correction from youthful errors. It is a day-to-day reminder through words and example about proper behavior, decorum, and ethics. Effective discipline includes not only extinguishing inappropriate behavior, but also teaching the child the reason as soon as he is old enough. The more beating a child receives, the less effective they become. Discipline is sharing a life, a vision, a future.
In order to prosper, our children need an enduring sense of security and stability nurtured in an environment of safety and love to cope with the inevitable struggles of life. Create an atmosphere that provides a child’s fragile spirit with the nourishment and support needed for healthy emotional growth. It will require time and consistency to develop a sense of emotional wholeness, but the rewards are great.
Indeed, lessons of life are taught in the classroom of actual living. As parents, mentors, and educators, the greatest impact we can give our children is the foundation we lay down in matters of faith, social and emotional. They are virtues worthy of emulation.
Leave our children a heritage, not just an inheritance.
By: JEANNE R. DACALCAP, Pines City National High School