Raise Your Children Well

We have such a huge responsibility as adults to make sure we raise our children to be honest, respectful, and upstanding citizens. The next generation depends on it! Naturally, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” rings so true.

I am amazed at how many people have children, yet they do not teach them well. We have a responsibility to teach morals, ethics, respect, and common courtesy. Yet so many children lack these characteristics. I see this lack in young children, older children, and teenagers. The next generation is in trouble if parents don’t start stepping up and actually parenting!

Last week, one of my daughters was approached by a boy through a text. The text messages were not respectful to her in any way and were very self-serving to the boy. I highly doubt this boy would verbalize these requests to my daughter’s face…but there is an invisible bravery shield behind the texting mask.

When I learned of these text messages, I approached this boy’s mom…thinking, if my child was texting this way I would want to know! I was met with laughter and a head shake, implying, “Boys will be boys!” I was floored! This is an example of the apple not falling far from the tree…If parents don’t communicate, discipline, and guide their child through something like this…then the child will think this behavior is acceptable. If there are no consequences, the child feels entitled and justified in his/her actions.

It would be so easy in a situation like this to point the finger and blame the parents…and believe me I have been really struggling with this. But no matter how hard I blame, or how many times I confront the parents, it makes no difference. They are who they are and they will raise that boy the way they feel fit. I cannot change that. This situation was a wake-up call, in that I know I cannot parent other people’s children and I cannot expect other parents to parent the same way I do. So I need to make sure I am doing the best to raise my children well so they can handle these types of situations that will inevitably arise.

 The only thing I can do is learn from it and make sure I raise my children well.

 This situation has taught me the following:

I need to make sure my girls have self respect and self control, and that they are confident enough to set healthy boundaries.
I need to make sure I keep the lines of communication open with my girls, so they feel safe talking with me about their problems and pressures they face.
I have learned that I need to teach my girls the difference between arrogant lust and respectful flirting.
I need to teach my girls how to say no…Peer pressure is so forward these days.
I have learned that mothers and fathers have to model what a healthy relationship looks like.
I have learned that fathers play such a huge role in showing their daughters how a boy should treat them.
I have learned that we need to always be involved with our children’s lives, their schooling, and we need to know their friends.

 I have also learned that if you are a parent to a boy,
you need to teach them how to respect girls.

Take action: This week and moving forward, let’s take a look at what we are teaching our children. Let’s make sure we will be proud of how they treat others and how they will contribute to society!
Let’s be an involved parent and realize that “parent” is a verb as well as a noun!

 Because Together is Better,


  1. Lisa Scott says:

    This is so right on. I see it all the time where parents don’t parent and are trying to be their kids best friends. There seems to be less and less discipline these days too. You can always pick out the teenagers that were handed everything when they were growing up and now they expect work, school, relationships etc to be just as easy and when it’s not they don’t know how to deal with it. “Every kid gets a trophy” that’s the life these kids live these days. Great post!

    • Thank you Lisa for your wise words. I agree that parents need to parent and wait to be a friend to their child until they are grown up. I’m so glad to see you here! -Deanna

  2. . . Children may need to learn the rule of the world.
    . . Children may need to learn the deep truth in the world.
    . . Education is the best food for the future of the children.
    . . http://mufillyou.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/016en/

  3. Deanna, your blog posts are so inspirational, I always learn something from them, thanks so much for sharing from the heart!

    You are so right that we can only change ourselves and teach our children well so they are empowered to act strongly when situation arises. This and people like you bringing awareness is what works, I know it 🙂

    BTW I nominated you for the Soul’s Speaks Award, I hope you win, you so deserve it my dear!

  4. I had a similar experience with a parent! her son and my boy got into a fight, by that time my son was 9 years old, and he was tired of been bullied from this other kid. Well my son had enough and had a fight with him, then this kid bite my son, and I have to take him to the ER. When I went to talk with his mom, she did not even know that her son had a fight with my son, and she was so relax and did not show any concern about her sons behavior, that I said to my self will not waste my time with this lady. Indeed, we teach our children to be respectful, and caring to other but there is always bad apples (parents) who do not teach their kids values, and they are not a proper role model either.

    • Remy, thank you for sharing this story with us. I am so sorry that your son had to go through that, and that you had to deal with a parent who was not into parenting. It is frustrating, and we can only make sure we are raising our kids well. Thank you for your comment! -Deanna

  5. What a great post! We are the best example for our kids and we need to stay aware of what we teach them. I left an abusive marriage when I woke up one day and realized that my daughter may end up marrying a man like that and my sons my become men like that. That was not acceptable to me so even though we struggled a bit doing it all on our own it was so worth it! You are a great mom!

    • Laura, thank you for sharing…you are so brave to leave an abusive marriage…because it is so easy to stay. I think you are so right in that if your children are exposed to that, they will become that and look for that in their spouses. I appreciate you being here! -Deanna

  6. Interesting post! As a parent (or step-parent) you do everything you can to teach your kids values and proper behavior. Then you send them out into the world with the hope they take your lessons to heart.

    • You are right Lisa, in that we send them off and hope we have done a great job. I have one daughter who is our of the nest and she is doing very well. I think we have a tougher job these days because a lot of parents are so lax. It is a different world! I appreciate you being here! -Deanna

  7. My son is grown and married. His wife compliments me all the time on how well we parented him. This is excellent advice you have shared. I know of many parents who I respect and who are good examples for their children. Many of them have highly functioning adult children. But I also see parents who will not allow their children to grow up, who make excuses for their child’s behavior. And what is up with not teaching children social manners, i.e. writing thank you notes. Some people again make excuses for this, i.e TY’s are no longer a sign of the times.

    At least your girls have a good role model. I like the part where you said dad’s have a responsibility in this too in showing their daughters how they should be treated. Love that…and it is true. No one should be treated poorly. Just heard the best quote (and I plan to write a post about it soon), but here it is in advance: There are relationships in life that lift you up and help you soar and others that pull you down and make you tumble. We should all strive for the relationships that help us soar. 🙂

    • Linda, I love your wise words, thank you for sharing that! I love your quote, and I agree that we all need to strive to be respectful to everyone! -Deanna

  8. Steph Whitley says:

    Nice article Deanna! Great wisdom!!

    • Thank you Steph! I know that you raise your boys to be respectful…but it seems to be falling to the wayside. It needs to be a way of life, a daily reminder! Thank you for being here! -Deanna

  9. Thank you for writing this blog post – it’s a message that should be given to every parent, new and old alike!

  10. As parents we can teach, guide and raise our children the best we can. The Mother of the boy obviously isn’t seeing things from the perspective you do, she obviously doesn’t have girls. The best we can do is guide our daughters in a way that they are empowered to say to the boy ” this is not acceptable, if you are going to treat me like that then I don’t want to know you”
    when we teach our daughters or sons to treat others with respect and accept ONLY to be treated with respect by others that is the best we can do, we need to teach our children to value themselves

    • Lorelle, I could not agree with you more! This encounter really opened my eyes to the fact that my husband and I really need to be sure we are teaching our girls the respectful way to be. I appreciate you being here! -Deanna

  11. Great post! I so agree and say it all the time that I am worried about the next generation. So many disrespectful fads have emerged and peer pressure is strong. Our children need to know that they are able to come to us and talk about anything cause only the Lord knows they will encounter out there in there days journey. I am not surprised by the response that you got at all. I see parents teaming up with kids and all but fighting battles for them. It is sad.

    • Thank you Margaret! I think it is sad as well, that parents would rather take the easy road and not be the “bad guy”…but that is not what parenting is all about! Thank you for being here! -Deanna

  12. I really enjoyed reading this post and agreed with pretty much all you had to say though I also think what Sharon Cobb said about the apple not falling far from the tree is very valid. As parents we must set the example, teach and do our best but there are times when this is not enough and the child slips through the net. Equally it is inspiring to see great children rise up from poor parenting. As a mum to 2 boys I am trying to do my best to raise them well and set a good example.

    • Phoebe, thank you for your comment. Yes, I agree, that in some cases, great parents raise children who get in trouble. But as parents, we have a responsibility to follow through and to discipline our kids. If we do not make the effort, then their fate is not as positive as it could be. I appreciate your candor here! -Deanna

  13. Thank you for sharing this Deanna. As parents we are responsible for the education of our children and what they will bring forth into the world. And like you said, we can’t tell other parents how their children need to be, but simply teach our children the skills needed to navigate such situations. Thank you again!

  14. Thank you for writing this! I’ve worked with adolescents for two decades and see the repercussions of our McDonald-ized society. Instant gratification and few consequences. Kudos to you for speaking up.

    • Thank you Laura! We owe it to our children to be active parents to guide them and to be involved in their lives! I appreciate you being here! -Deanna

  15. “Boys will be boys” sounds like an abdication of parental responsibility. Yikes. Maybe the parent didn’t really mean it. Perhaps she was unprepared for the conversation and grabbed the first thing she could think of to say. I hope.

    • Susan, she didn’t verbally say that, but by her lack of shock or any sort of apology…the head shake and laughter was interpreted by me as her saying “Boys will be boys.” I just can’t imagine being OK with that. Like I said, I have to raise my children well. Thank you for your comment! -Deanna

  16. Deanna-

    I enjoyed your post and agree with pretty much everything you say. I believe that our responsibility as parents is to give our kids the moral, spiritual and intellectual strength to be able to make their own decisions in a safe and sane manner so as to respect themselves and others. Is that going to happen all the time? Of course not, any more than it did when we were growing up. Will they make choices that we will only shake our heads at? Of course they will. At some point, our kids are going to go out into the world and we have to let them go and trust that what we’ve provided for them as core values, will hold them through whatever they are dealing with.

    Our kids are dealing with a different time than even just a generation ago. But that is going to happen to all future generations. Still, the basic respect for self and others, our environment and everything in it, does not change, no matter what the current generation is dealing with. Those are the lessons I want my kids to have heard.

    Candace Davenport
    http://www.ourlittlebooks.com ~ Little Books with a Big Message

    • Candace, I agree. My Mom always used to tel me, “Class never goes out of style!” I think that is true, and it goes hand-in-hand with respect. No, our children will not be perfect, but it is our responsibility to teach them to be respectful and to treat themselves and others in a way that is acceptable. I appreciate your comment, thank you! -Deanna

  17. Parents have a huge task in present society, with everyone bombarded by images and messages on so many fronts. It’s hard to teach children what self-respect means; it takes patience and persistence. Even some very good parents will see their children make choices that are unfortunate. By the way, with regard to your use of the expression “apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” – An author named Andrew Solomon has written a book called “Far from the Tree” about children who are “exceptional” (somehow different from the norm and not what parents expected – everything from autism to schizophrenia to criminal behavior). I’ve heard him interviewed, and he’s very powerful in talking about parenting.

    • Thank you Judy for your insight, I will look up the author. I know this generation have so many outside influences. That makes it so much more important to guide them and be involved and actually parent them! -Deanna

  18. I always try my best to teach my children how to behave. Yes, sometimes they don’t act the best but my girls are really good girls and have good moral standings.

    • Jennifer, I love this! I hope between your girls being good and you being an active parent, that they will grow up just awesome! Thank you for your comment! -Deanna

  19. I enjoyed reading your article. However, I can not fully agree with you on the apple not falling far from the tree. I say this as a mother of three; two boys and a girl and as a school teacher since 1995. I have seen very good parents, with kids gone wrong. I’ve seen very bad parents, with very good kids. My own children have, upon occasion, done things that did not reflect their parental teachings.

    I do agree that parents should do their very best to teach their children all of the things you have mentioned and more. I also agree that there is a degradation of females that is far worse than our ancestors who fought against sexualization had to deal with. This is a huge pet peeve of mine! The one thing I think most people do not realize or acknowledge is the role that media plays in the lives of children now. Based upon statistics, media spends a lot more time with our children than we do because of technology. Honestly the statistics are staggering and a bit worrisome. Even very good parents are fighting a tremendous battle when the majority of media portrays exactly the opposite of what you have mentioned. But for the most part, many parents are desensitized from the same bombardment. They do not even see or realize because media has taken hold of them as well. I am not sharing an opinion. These are all facts found pretty easily. At this point, it isn’t just about the parent and the apple not falling far from the tree … it is about media influence and parents banding together to STOP MEDIA. Until that happens, I don’t see very much getting better. The Bible says a whole lot of things including information about nations who turn from God and how he had rather people be hot or cold than to be luke warm. In my personal opinion, we have a whole lot of luke warm people who indulge in the throws of media rather than standing against it.

    • Sharon, I totally see where you are coming from. I know that some really great parents have kids that turn out to be in jail, and I know that some pretty neglectful parents end up with awesome kids…so the apple thing is an analogy for most and not all.

      I agree that social media is huge in the lives of children these days. Being an active and aware parent is part of that though. If we know who our kids are friends with and what they are doing on their phones, and we limit their time and communicate with them…we can negate a lot of this.

      Part of parenting is disciplining when your kids do wrong, and this parent I was dealing with didn’t seem too concerned with that. So I need to make sure I am all over my daughters.

      I really appreciate your comment and your passion here! -Deanna

  20. Dov Shapira says:

    The best way to teach a child is by how you model for them, day by day.
    My daughter said to me something very disrespectful as I am giving her a ride in my truck.
    Instead of getting angry and saying this and that with anger. I took a deep breath and waited for the answer to come to me.
    After one minute, I turned to her and I said. What you just said was very disrespectful to me but first of all it was disrespectful to you.

    She took a deep breath and a minute later she gave me a hug and said she was sorry.

  21. I could not agree with you more about the importance of parents teaching their children respect. In the alternative high school in which I work, I always see so many derogatory things said from student to student as well as student to parent. I try to get parents more involved to see these recurring issues.

    • Wow, Daniele, I bet you are exposed to many things that are hard to witness. I can’t believe how some parents let their kids speak to them. I appreciate your comment! -Deanna

  22. You are so right. I am teaching my son to be very respectful to women and the world around him. I am very involved and feel fortunate to be!

  23. I think the fruit of the results will be found when you talk to the parents. If they apologize and work to solve the problem then you know it’s not them. There are many influences on our kids that prompt them to do things they might not normally do.

    However, if they are defensive, etc., then I would go with the problem started at home.

    Your article highlights the need for us to be involved in our kids lives and reminds me that as much as we love them, they are not perfect. They need other adults to share with them and the parents what is happening in their lives so that parents can work to help their kids become responsible adults one day.

    • I agree with you Don. The bottom line is that I have to focus on raising my girls and help them through the inevitable exposure to kids whoa re parented differently. -Deanna

  24. I can’t believe that the parent just shrugged off your comments to her. Hopefully that parent still went home and had a talk with him. It sounds like you have a great relationship with your daughter so I know she will be fine as she is growing up.

    • Thank you Kelly. We try really hard to have open communication and a great relationship with all our daughters. She will be great, we just need to stay on top of it. Thank you for your comment! -Deanna

  25. I have a friend with “adult children” who do not show respect for their father. They have been taught that they can get their own way no matter who suffers. They have been raised to be selfish. If you don’t do a good job when they are young you will be paying the price forever. To discipline is to teach (disciple)…it is a good thing! Start early for best results, but it is never too late! Better late than never!

    • Thanks Mom, those are great words of advice! I agree that starting young is a must, but it is nevertheless ok late. There needs to be consequences for actions in order to learn. -Deanna

  26. The moral fiber has eroded to dangerous levels. There has become a wide gap between those with moral upbringing and those without. It’s truly sad. But how wonderful it is that you have flipped this into a positive learning experience! What a great example you are for all parents who will take the time to read this blog!

    • Loretta, thank you so much! I hope you will share this with the parents you know who will benefit! I appreciate your wise words and that you are here! -Deanna

  27. My dad was strict when it came to raising us. We never talked back to adults. My dad used to say also, do as I say NOT as i do. He use that one because he smokes cigarettes and dint want us to smoke ever! He wouldnt never smoke with us in the car or inside our home. A lot of parents don’t think about this but kids are like sponges, they absorb everything around them and it’s up to us to make sure that what they are absorbing is GOOD: respect, being mindful, being grateful, sharing and many more

    • Those are such wise words, kids are like sponges, and we need to model the behaviors and characteristics we want them to acquire. Thank you for being here and sharing your thoughts! -Deanna

  28. What a great post. I agree with you wholeheartedly and feel sad with what I see. I am grateful and blessed how my adult children turned out… thoughtful, caring, respectful adults.

    • Thank you Meli , we have one daughter who is almost twenty-one and she is a great girl. We have to keep being active parents to assure that they all turn out to be upstanding citizens and respectful along the way! -Deanna

  29. It’s amazing how many parents don’t take their role seriously. Such great lessons here

  30. Deanna I absolutely couldn’t agree more!!! I started a blog post the other day entitled ‘The Passive Parent’ about this very same issue. Haven’t published it yet because I was too upset while writing it & wanted to cool down & then approach it again with a clearer mind. I simply do not understand parents who either don’t punish their children for bad behavior because they simply can’t be bothered, or won’t because they’re too busy trying to be the child’s friend rather than their parent! These children grow up to be extremely selfish, spoiled and completely disrespectful! They expect the world to treat them the way their parents did – and when it doesn’t, they’re miserable! As adults, they will have a difficult time finding happiness because the world doesn’t act and react the way their parents did! I feel sorry for the teachers who have these kids now, and for the world that will be exposed to them later! Thank you for so beautifully & kindly saying what’s been on my mind! Very well done! I applaud you & hope many will take this post to heart & do what’s best for their children – not just for their happiness now, but for always!

    • Marcia, I thank you so very much for your wise words. I would love to read your blog post if you continue to write it and publish it. I too had a hard time writing this, as many emotions are held with this topic. Thank you for sharing this with others, as we all need a good reminder at times! -Deanna

  31. I have always taught my boys to respect women.

  32. I am so glad you were able to catch this and now watch out for it….Confidence is the key and communication.

    • Marjory, you are not kidding! This could have had several really bad endings. It gave my husband and I a great opportunity to talk with our daughter about many topics. Thank you for your words! -Deanna

  33. It is really hard with the kids on all forms of social media and they see things they shouldn’t and don’t understand what is and is not appropriate. Parents do need to monitor their children and teach them.

    • I agree Stephanie. There needs to be rules and parental settings in the social media…they are exposed to so much more than we we’re as kids. -Deanna

  34. We don’t have kids, but I can just imagine with their access to technology what is happening and they don’t get it and that’s where parents need to step in.

    • Absolutely Jeff, we need to monitor their exposure to media…as it sets an unrealistic way of communicating and being. I appreciate you being here! -Deanna

  35. With two young girls, I’m not at this point yet and I appreciate you sharing for me to watch out for this.

    • Brad, it is nevertheless of early to help your girls build their self esteem and teach them how to set boundaries. I am glad you are here! -Deanna

  36. I teach my 12 yr old son allot of respect for girls, if he doesn’t i have talks with him.

    • Robert, that is so refreshing to hear. I see so many parents who just look the other way or encourage disrespectful behavior. I appreciate your comment! -Deanna

  37. 110% True! Confidence and good self esteem are the greatest gifts you can give your child. Thanks for Sharing!

  38. Confidence and good self esteem are the greatest gifts you can give your child. Thanks for sharing!

  39. Ouch – I think I would have struggled in the same way as you! Our children learn from what we do, not just by what we say (and I’d argue probably more by what we do!)
    We only have them for such a short time before they’re off into the world. We need to be conscious of what we’re teaching them and being involved is part of that.

  40. wow!! such valuable lessons in this blog! We can’t control how others behave, but we can control ourselves and help our children do the same. Thanks D!!!!

Speak Your Mind