Some time last year, we were looking at pictures of a party posted on Facebook.
Danae: Aww, how come we weren’t there?
Me: Oh because we weren’t invited, love.
Me: It’s okay, babe. We don’t always have to be invited.
Danae: But why? Did they forget us?
Me: No. Of course they haven’t forgotten you, but remember, not everybody will be invited to everything.
Danae was a bit bummed, but she quickly let go of it. My theory is she didn’t see either me or King feel bad or offended by it — something that we have learned through the years.
It’s true that with parenting, more is caught than taught. Our children pick up so many things from us, both good and bad. Because we spend the most time with them, our influence is just massive. It’s up to us to be responsible and conscious of what we pass on to them. Will we let them get our fears and insecurities? Or will we teach them, encourage them to respond better by getting over our own fears and insecurities?
Will we reinforce their feelings of rejection by showing them our disappointment or self-pity? Or even through the occasional disappointment, which of course everybody feels sometimes, will we comfort them and teach them to battle rejection by showing them acceptance and understanding — that it’s okay to not be part of every party that each of our friends will have?
Will we teach them to feel entitled, that they or our family should always be invited? Or will we teach them to be grateful for the events that we are privileged to be part of?
Will we teach them to hold grudges or harbor ill feelings towards other people? Or will we help them understand that not being invited does not mean we are unloved, unwanted, unimportant, unappreciated or forgotten? That not being invited does not diminish their value?
Will we teach them to find security in the love and acceptance of other people? Or will we teach them to be secure in their identity in Christ?
What do we want to pass on to our children, and what would we want them to pass on to theirs? Let’s be aware. Let’s be responsible. Let’s be deliberate.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6