Lately I have felt that I have not been doing enough for my kids in the development of their character and spiritual life. I asked my daughter some questions about Bible stories the other day and I was actually shocked at how little she knew. Not just stories from the Bible, but I really started thinking about other areas that all four of my kids could use a little polishing.
I have been doing a lot of self examination work in a few different on line programs and it seems that one of the biggest areas that I have been studying is "selfishness." Selfishness according to everything I am learning is the leading cause (and mainly root cause) of all conflicts....whether marital discord, conflict at work, or conflict in the family. My husband used to suggest that I could work on my own selfishness and I brushed him off for years. Mainly I used the "I was an only child so I just seem a little more selfish than I really am" excuse.
After much reflection though I realize that I had plenty of areas that fall within selfishness to work on. As I have been reflecting on this, I can clearly see areas that my kids need work. I pulled a book off the shelf called "The Book of Virtues" and started working with the kids and reading stories from this book daily. We actually started with the chapter called "Responsibility" and I can already see some major improvements.
Parenting is a tough job....but it is one of the best ever. On days that I have had the normal frustration from "refereeing" while my kids "played" with each other; I have often wished for them to get along better, share better, and all those other things on the laundry list of what we would like to see in our children's behavior. I have found that by being consistent and tough at times that I am seeing much better results.
A little self actualization really went along way too. I see that as I make changes that it is easier to shape my kid's behavior too. There are an amazing wealth of resources on the internet too for shaping stronger families and working on teaching specific virtues to kids like compassion, honesty, patience and a host of other qualities.
If your wanting to make some changes in your family, start with prayer, then find some resources for self improvement and also family building. Not only should you see great results with your children; I bet you will start to feel much more positive about life too! I know I sure have.