Thursday, October 11, 2012

What Top 5 Attributes Do You Want to Pass On?

Tonight Kai came home with a homework assignment and said I had to help.  “I’ve been through 9thgrade, I don’t do my kids homework,” said I, the loving, supportive, full of energy Mom of the year.
“Mom!  You need to help me—it’s an assignment.”
“Where?” Suspicious.  “Let me see the assignment.”
“Mom!  I’m so hurt!  You don’t believe me??  Nobody else’s parents don’t believe them!  This is supposed to be a learning experience between us.”
She showed me the assignment.  She was right.  Oops.
So here’s the assignment:
Create a list about the 5 attributes you’d want for your kids and grandkids—compare and contrast.
So I took 5 minutes to write my top thoughts–both easier and harder than I initially thought.
Here’s my list:
1.     Vibrant authentic relationship with God/Jesus
2.     Healthy, life-giving relationships—family, spouse, friendships, community
3.     Meaningful work that adds value to the world and can sustain them
4.     Healthy life patterns of moderation, exercise (mind, body, spirit, emotion), rest, work& fun
5.    A joyful sense of gratitude at the abundance they’re given that leads to generosity, hospitality, fruitful stewardship and a sense of responsibility for those who aren’t as blessed.
Here’s Kai’s:
1.     Love of reading-believing a good book can be better than television
2.     Really bonding relationships with friends—loving them, being supportive
3.     Compassion towards everything and everyone—being empathetic
4.     Being able to have perspective on life—seeing the good and being able to deal with the bad
5.    The ability to be humble and modest
“Wow!  Yours are so deep compared to mine,” said Kai when I read mine aloud.
“Well I’ve had years to think about it,” I said.  Pretty much the sum total of my parenting years in fact.
She laughed. “I knew you’d have the God piece. My friends all think you’re super religious and super cheap.”  Apparently, one friend thinks it’s funny that I took them out for lunch because my Groupon was expiring that day.  I like to think that’s frugal and generous at the same time.
Her list made me smile—I guess Scott and I preach about reading, friendship, perspective and compassion more regularly than grandiose visions of the good life—but it’s good to see that she’s absorbed something!  I’ll take “believing a good book is better than television” any day!
What top 5 attributes would you like to see in your kids and grandkids? 
What legacy would you like to pass down?
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This was first published on What She Said


Anonymous said...

Hey Kathy:
Never posted here, but let me give this one a shot. Apologies if this parallels or echoes what you've already written, but I guess there really is nothing new under the sun

Attributes I'd like to pass on to my kids.

1) Living without fear. This means not being afraid of “no”, not being afraid of failure, or disappointment and not being driven by insecurity. To always know they are loved.
2) Love Jesus. As children, I think faith can often seem about doing things, going to church, being good. I want them to see faith as being about Jesus.
3) Living with compassion and empathy for others. I want my girls to care.
4) Live passionately. Kids are examples in what it means to live passionately. They feel hurts more deeply and they want to have fun all the time. While this can be tiring to me as a parent, I also don’t want my girls to lose this passion for life and living.
5) Live in Humility. To know that the world is not just about them and to live in gratitude.

If I could pick a sixth thing, I would like them to love learning. I want them to expand their world and see what is possible.

Of course, I guess part of what makes this hard is that this list is supposed to be about things I'm passing on, which means that I should already have all of these characteristics.


Marcia said...

Love these, Kathy!

Allan Murray said...

Glad reading your blog. Time, despite its direct meaning, still, remains vague to our concept. Every passing seconds, minutes, hour and day will remain past and the coming event will become future and finally present.

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