Thursday, January 27, 2011

How do you raise a kid to be a good person??

I have been thinking about this for a bit this morning.  Given all the craziness that Tucson has ensued, how do you "do it right"?  I feel bad for the parents of what's-his-face-maniac-shooter (I refuse to utter his name).  Some would say you couldn't see this coming, but what about the skull bbq in his backyard?!  Anyway!  Enough about that.

What really makes me wonder is the families around me and mine.  I am an only child.  Therefore, I have no knowledge of blood siblings.  I've taken adopting my friends as my siblings, and mostly sisters at that.  But the ones I have "adopted" have really good relationships with their siblings.  And I don't know how you get that.  I see families where siblings barely speak to each other and even at holidays it is difficult to get along.  What happened there that blood siblings can't stand each other?  In many cases it isn't even one specific, tragic, event that has led to the non-relationship.  So how do you prevent this?

In one specific case I know of, the children were raised by the same parents and one is seemingly off in the boonies, while the other is perfectly sane and hardworking.  What happened there?  How do you raise a child to be a good person?  I know the parents of this scenario and they are wonderful people.  Loving.  Trustworthy.  Money-conscious.  Sane!  So what happened that these traits didn't transfer to the one child?

Does anybody have any magic potions that I am not aware of?  I do realize the families with seemingly beautiful relationships have their issues, but they seem to rebound without tragedy.  So how do you do that?  How as a parent do you create that?

Thoughts?  Comments?

Sorry this post isn't terribly funny, but just wondering how I make good kids.  I admit first I have to figure out how to make children, but after they are born, then what?  Any advice is appreciated!!


  1. So this may be a long comment, but my husband and I discuss this at length quite often. We are both the oldest of 5 and although there is a difference between him and his youngest sister, there is a MAJOR difference between me and my three youngest siblings. And the reason why we think that is is because of discipline and stability. Not to mention personality. I'm a very stubborn and driven person. The three youngest? Not so much- especially my brother. My parents are having such issues with him and I know if I ever pulled what he did, they would have kicked me out. They weren't quiet when I did half of what he did. So my theory is that if you have more than one child, you need to be constant. Of course each situation for each child will be different, but if you are going to expect one child to reach for the stars, expect the others to also. Don't just get tired and give up. And that's my say on how siblings can grow up and go two totally different ways.

  2. I can see that. But the situation I was describing in the blog, the "sibling" is older than the "sane child" and she (sibling) was just an odd one growing up. She's crazy, a bit lazy and whiny. Whereas her brother, is so NOT crazy, not lazy, and not whiny in the least bit.

    I think consistency is key and I can definitely see how your position applies to other scenarios that I know of where the oldest is strong, driven, etc., and the youngest is less so. But what happens when the young one is driven and the old one not so? The parents were overcorrecting? Or can you blame the child for lashing out because the parents were too tough? Who knows?! But I want to figure out how to NOT make those mistakes!

  3. you can't figure it out niki. that's the problem. each child is their own kind. their own personality. each situation can go great or go wrong. is child one that way because the parents were picky? strong? over correcting? expecting great things? did they burn out from it? rebel because of it? or did they learn from it and become OCD? does spanking cause spanking? do arguments in front of them make them argue more in their lives? you don't know what it will do to them. all you can do is watch, teach and hope they learn from you. try to give the building blocks to help them learn and succeed. what they do with those blocks, is purely up to them.
    -mommy belly

  4. A person is part who they are raised by, part the circumstances they are raised with, part the people they grow up around, part good, part bad, part influence, but all predestined. What I'm trying to say honey is that as parents all we can do is our best. There is never going to be a sure fire way to raise the perfect child. Heck maybe not even a sure fire way to raise a good child. The best things my parents did for me, I try to do for Gunnar. I listen, first and foremost. I spend time with him. If he does something wrong I do my best to make the punishment fit the crime (NOT SO EASY!) and I stick to that punishment, and I promise he respects me more for it, just like I realize now that I respected my parents more for it too. Most of all, I love him more than anything in this world and I tell him each and every day.

    A person is going to be who they are meant to be, you are going to be a BIG part of that, but keep in mind that God gave us free will, and even parents cannot choose for their children, only do our best to teach what is right and wrong. I know you and J will be amazing parents. I love you.

  5. I am an only child too. All of my "sisters" are adopted too. I feel quite inept in giving advice on such matters. Things that I observe of my other friends with children is that you are not your child's best friend. Your role in their life is to show them how the world works. Can be tough but they will love and respect you for it.


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