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Old 02-20-2003, 10:00 PM   #71
Bungleau
40th Level Warrior
 

Join Date: October 29, 2001
Location: Western Wilds of Michigan
Posts: 11,752
Boy, such fun....

First off, I'm impressed with Epona, Melusine, and others who have shown evidence of maturity beyond their younger years. And I just re-read that line, and believe me, it's meant as a compliment, even though I'm still scratching my head. [img]smile.gif[/img]

As far as all this dating stuff, responsibility, and so on goes...

I firmly believe that when my children reach 18, they will be capable of moving out on their own if appropriate. That means they'll need to know responsibility, decision-making, and more. For them to have those things at the age of 18, they'll have to start earlier than that.

I'm already trying to get those things happening now, even at the ages of five and three. What does it mean at this young time? Frankly, I don't have a good idea, but I'm working on it.

A lot of what it means, I believe, is giving children the opportunity to do things, real adult things, and allowing them to screw them up royally when it happens. You learn more from mistakes than successes, so the more mistakes they make, the more they learn.

My job, I believe, is to help guide that learning, and to support them during the consequences that result (good and bad). As a father, I'm probably going to pay more attention (I hope) to those lessons which have longer-term consequences, like children. Will I make the best long-term decisions to help both my children grow up to be responsible adults? I sure hope so. Will I also make mistakes along the way, mistakes in parenting style and approach? Probably. And in those mistakes, hopefully my children will learn additional lessons as I apologize to them for things that I do. I've already apologized to them a couple of times, and I'm sure I'm not done yet.

And to swing to a different tangent, my experience is that American households are far more conservative than European families (can't speak on the NZ crowd). Personally, I find the European approach much more realistic and suitable for long-term life, and I'm taking the parts of it that I can use and interpret from a distance, and deploying those. In another 15 years, you can all check back in and see how I did [img]smile.gif[/img]
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