- That the punishment for telling the truth will always be better than the punishment for lying. The reason kids lie is because they're afraid of getting in trouble- trust me, I know! In the beginning I used to always tell the truth and I quickly realized that I was in DEEP trouble. I decided early on that the punishment for lying could be no worse than the ones I received for telling the truth, plus I got the added bonus of doing what I wanted to do in the first place. If kids know that they can tell you the truth without being grounded for life, I think there's a much greater likelihood for an open dialogue and that your children will believe they can really come to you to talk instead of to someone else who might be giving them very bad advice.
- Always stick up for the underdog. If someone is being bullied then you come to the other person's defense. There is no excuse or justification for cruel behavior and it's so easy to jump on the bandwagon of picking on someone who is too shy or too afraid to stick up for themselves. By coming to that person's defense you will show others your true character while highlighting that bully's lack of it. And while sometimes it may be hard to be that person who openly goes against and defends the person it's popular to pick on, ultimately, they'll feel better about themselves and others will soon recognize their true worth in spades!
- No matter what they do, you will ALWAYS love and support them. A child or teenager should never be afraid to come to their parent because they fear their parent will stop loving them. They should know their parents will be their advocate throughout life, their biggest fan, and a constant source of love. Of course that doesn't mean a parent should just say "do what you want, it's your life," they should be a guide, pointing out when their child is in the wrong and what they should do to fix it. And sometimes, if their kid has wronged someone else, or hasn't followed through with something they should have, a parent should be there to right that wrong- not just for their child, but for the other person, and to be an example of magnanimous love. As parents, I believe it's our job to right our childrens wrongs until they do so, or else it's just a poor reflection on us as parents. But ultimately, every kid should know that beyond a shadow of a doubt, no matter how badly they screw up,- their parent(s) will always be there for them, with open arms full of love. Think of the prodigal son!
Our retreat at Runamuk
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