By MaryEllen Tribby
It started out like any other school day morning. The organized chaos of brushing Delanie’s long locks, searching for Connor’s math book and trying to extract Mikaela (our teen ager) out of bed.
Once the morning was in full gear and the kids were ready to be taken to the bus stop, I gave them all their lunches and kisses and wished them a good day. I took a few moments to prepare for my day, thinking that hubby would be back in 10 minutes to do our morning briefing and to say our daily goodbyes before we both jumped into our workday.
But 10 minutes passed and hubby wasn’t back. Knowing that my first appointment at the office was an early one, I figured I would just pass him on the way out of our community.
The second I walked outside I instantly saw why he wasn’t back yet. I could see the brilliant red and blue flashing lights from our hilltop and my heart sank.
I jumped in my car and raced down to the bus stop. Among rows of stopped cars I noticed our abandoned Escalade with the driver’s door wide open.
As I approached the scene, I could see my husband directing traffic, not letting anyone park by the bus or the police cars. Still searching for answers, I soon spotted a very small and frail body laying in the road, with her mom and several policemen attending to her.
I finally reached my traffic control husband and all he said was “Molly was hit by a car while running for the bus. The ambulance is on its way and I need to keep this area clear.”
He assured me our kids were safe and that he would call me later and sent me on my way.
As I drove away I could see the terrified look on all the kids faces that were safely looking out the bus windows.
The entire way to the office all I could think of were my husbands words “Molly was hit by a car while running for the bus.”
And suddenly with tears running down my face I thought, DAMN, why was she running for the bus . . .
Practice What We Preach
Teaching our kids certain skills and personal habits just isn’t good enough. In order to improve our kids personality, we need to lead by example and live the skills and traits we teach.
Not only when it is convenient, but all the time.
Now before we go on, I can gladly report that Molly was taken to the best Children’s Hospital in Texas and released with bumps, bruises and a broken arm. She was sitting next to Connor in class the next day.
However, it could have been so much worse. Think about it, a moving two thousand pound car struck a little 65-pound girl. And the worst part, it was totally senseless and avoidable.
We teach our kids to look both ways and to take their time when crossing the street. Yet, when we are running late, we have them dash across a street to catch a bus.
According to the bus driver, this is an everyday occurrence and it just so happened that it was Molly who paid the price of continually bad decisions by parents.
So, in honor of Molly, I have created a list of what I believe to be the seven most important characteristics and skills we need to instill in our children and live ourselves every day as kids personailty directly affected by our daily life practices.
I think of them as my core values for my family.
The 7 Most Important Characteristics to Improve Kids Personality
1) Street Smarts: This includes everything from teaching our kids to look both ways while crossing a street to understanding how to trust their intuition. We want them to know that if they feel uncomfortable with a stranger, or even someone they know, they need to seek help immediately.
2) Respect: The best way to teach respectfulness is to treat your child respectfully. You should give your child the same courtesies you would give to anyone else, regardless if it is in business or pleasure. Children treat others the way their parents treat them. Your relationship with your child is the foundation for their relationships with others.
3) Honesty: There is a direct correlation between honesty and trust. Trust is the foundation of any relationship. We instill this in our kids from birth. We have taught them that although they will make mistakes, as long as they are honest with us, we will be able to reward this.
4) Kindness: When Delanie (my six year old) came home from school the day Molly was struck by the car, the first thing she said was that she wanted to bring Molly a teddy bear because that was her favorite kind of stuffed animal. The quality of kindness is one of the things that I am must proud of my kids for.
5) Determination: This begins by setting a reasonable goal that is within an individual’s limit and that they want intensely. Then they work conscientiously toward the achievement of that goal. We need to teach our kids that goals are important for personal confidence.
6) Dependability: This begins by understanding that others rely on them to do what they say they will do. This mans they must act to be sure every commitment is met on time and in the most complete manner possible. By being a dependable parent and following through on promises and commitments, our kids will learn to do the same.
7) Love: Studies have show that it is not possible to spoil a child with love. What we often think of as the product of spoiling a child is never the result of showing a child too much love. It is usually the consequence of giving a child material things in place of love. The beautiful thing about love is you can never give or accept too much!
Of course there are other personal characteristics and traits that are important to improve kids personality; but these seven are foundational.
Once your child has truly mastered them – others follow pretty easily.