Understanding the importance of having respect for others as well as yourself is key to successful relationships in life. And because of this, Jeff and I were given the responsibility to raise our boys into men.

With so much going on in the world today, it’s easy to feel as though the world is slowly failing our children. But it’s not the world. It’s us, the parents of these children.

There’s not a single headline on the news that isn’t aimed at showing us how terrible the world is. But please don’t forget why most of these stories are everywhere you turn. The rule of thumb in the news industry is, “if it bleeds, it leads.” In other words, if it scares us it takes the front page/top of the segment.

It pains me to think how much coverage some of these stories get today, and it’s frightening how the media places a heavy focus on the “bad guy” in the story.

We’ve heard about the rape charges and what came about of the swimming athlete, but we don’t hear much about the victim or the two men who jumped in to save her.

As parents, it is our responsibility to introduce our children to the world. How we decide to do so has a huge impact on their lives as well as the lives of those around them.

So yes, it does take a village to raise our children, but it takes a strong foundation at home to help them understand why things happen and what we can do about them.

Understanding The World Around Us
Our eldest will be three next month. And although he doesn’t watch the news, we make it a point to explain to him about the different people around us. When tragedies happen, we do our best to explain why and what the outcome may be.

Explaining the consequences is just the icing on the cake. Sometimes we get into the details of things for our toddler to better understand what’s going on because if he doesn’t hear it from us he will hear about it somewhere else. And that someone else may not be as nice in discussing it with him.

Below is a list of things we try to instill in our boys every single day in hopes that they will one day help others instead of hurting them:

– Have respect for others, as well as nature;
– Be grateful for what you have and what you don’t;
– Understand that we may look different, but we’re all the same;
– You cannot control someone’s actions, but you have complete control over your reaction to them; and
– See life through someone’s eyes.

We’re not always tough on our boys. Sometimes we get silly right before bed. Here’s proof:

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