Thursday, April 04, 2013

passing it along

So I was thinking the other day (in the shower, of course, because that's the most zen-like space ever) about all of the things I learned from my parents and the things that I'm trying to teach my children, and what lessons I learned that I feel are really important to pass on.

And as I was thinking about this, I was wondering what everyone else in the world thought they learned from their parents that they should pass on to their children.  And how much I would love to hear some different perspectives on this (comment away!).

I had lots and lots of ideas, but the ones that really stuck out to me were the following:

1) Spiritual: my parents were really diligent about family prayer, family scripture study, and family home evening.  I don't know if we were 100% on all of them all the time, but it sure felt like it!  We also memorized LOTS of scriptures by reciting them together before family prayer every night (there are still several that I automatically think of with the inflections that my sisters and I used to give them when we were trying to emphasize that someone had made a mistake on a certain word..."driven WITH the wind and tossed!")

2) Financial: when I was in middle school (I think?) I sat down with my parents and we calculated all the things I needed money for each month.  Then they gave me that amount and told me that I was responsible for budgeting it out, and gave me a little notebook to record my expenses, plus a box for all my receipts.  Before I could receive the next month's budget, I had to present my notebook (ledger!) and account for every penny of the previous month's budget.  I don't remember how many years this continued on the formal level, but it made a big impression.

3) Work ethic: we had a huge garden when I was a kid, and I vividly remember knowing that I had to weed my rows/snap my giant bowl of beans/etc. before I could ask to do anything else that day.  We also had rotating chores (listed on an Excel spreadsheet taped up inside the kitchen cabinet, also known as the "Decker Slave Chart") and could routinely expect to be asked to do other things as needed. I don't recall ever being paid for anything other than mowing the lawn (which was a gargantuan task that took 4 hours on a riding mower during its heyday); we just knew that as part of the family, we were expected to contribute.

There are my thoughts--what are yours?


Elise said...

Family time is the best time.

Clean sheets are THE BEST.

Spend as much time outside as possible, but remember to wear sunscreen (my weirdly burned legs are asking me why I haven't learned that one yet).

It's always exciting to learn new things (my list this school year: Yoga, Guitar, and Crochet! But really, I'm pretty good---although, maybe not at yoga!)

I have a better day when I remember to pray and study the scriptures.

There are a lot of people in this world that are ready to teach me and to learn from me in turn. Everyone I meet is a precious child of God and our interaction is an opportunity for His love to nurture and strengthen us all.

Jolena said...

Sometimes I feel like I have a mental block on what and how my parents taught us the things they did. I feel that especially as I navigate trying to teach my kids anything. I see things I want to teach as the need presents itself, but I'm not so good at having an overall idea of what things I want to teach. However, I do want to teach the value of work, how to be polite and respectful, faith, understanding that the world isn't fair and that's really okay, and also that ambiguity is all right. I'm not sure I've learned that myself, but I'm starting to realize just how gray so many issues are, and that's really okay. I think that would be an incredibly valuable, though very hard to teach, lesson a kid could learn. Oh, and that not succeeding the first time doesn't mean you're a failure. Maybe persistence is the word I'm looking for. Oh, and in more immediate needs, that eating is a good thing, and particularly eating healthy.

Kayli said...

Every dog has his day to bark. That was drilled in. :)

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