Good kids are a product of the real goal of parenting: Mature Character.
When children grow up with mature character, they are able to take their place as adults in the world and function properly in all areas of life. Character growth is the main goal of child rearing.
People with mature character have traits of integrity, responsibility and courage, but we understand character in a bigger-picture way. Character is the sum of our abilities to deal with life. Reality makes certain demands on us; our success (or failure) in meeting these demands shows our level of character development. (Cloud-Townsend)
Some of the best books I have ever read were by Henry Cloud and John Townsend, two Christian authors who write about boundaries in relationships using biblical perspectives. I usually love what they have to say! I'm currently re-reading a book on Boundaries with Kids that is just great. One of the things I love about going to church is that you are so exposed to wonderful resources, bible studies and support to help you become more Christ like (basically a better, more emotionally healthy human being!)
I've been doing a lot of thinking lately on conscious parenting. Not just reacting to life's circumstances, but being more proactive on the choices I make and thinking about the long term consequences on my child's life. No matter how cute she is, how sweet it is when she kisses me, if she's disobedient now and I let it slide, how much harder will it be for HER to all of a sudden make her toe the line when she's 5 or 6? She'll be confused and frustrated. And when she's 12, 13? 16 or 18? Forget it! My words will be like rain on a tin roof - sliding right off as quick as it hits.
I'm not doing her any favors if I prepare her for life by giving her everything she wants and not teaching her how to properly handle disappointment and frustration with a good attitude. All children are trained... it's a question of what are you training them to do? Are you training them to scream or misbehave until you give in? I won't be doing her any favors by letting her think that if she screams enough she will be successful in life. Or are you training them to learn that as the authority, you mean what you say and will only say it once? "Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'"
When she wraps her hands around my head and kisses my whole face, it's really, really hard to be stern when I need to be when just thinking of her chubby little hands and her sweet smile make me melt. I hate to say it, but she's definitely conned me a time or two lately!!