We make child-rearing unbelievably complex. We read books, attend classes, go to counselors, make ourselves sick with worry. The mothers I interviewed in the Legacy Project raised about 3,000 children, have watched their own offspring rear grandchildren, and were themselves raised by parents — and have had a good, long time to think about their own upbringing.
One thing they believe is that child-rearing is more than just making children happy. That’s important, but they also want children to be strong, purposeful, and moral.
Shirley, 90, is an award-winning teacher and mother of two. She told me:
We need to help the child to prepare for living. We need to show the child how to become a good citizen. To be honest, to stand up for what is right, and never to give in with social trends.
Because each person is different but we all are together and we’re all a part of one another. A poet said, ‘No man is an island by themselves, everyone is a part of the whole.’
So in keeping with that situation, it’s necessary that every child learn to get along with others. To learn that they have a responsibility to use their God-given rights to the best of their ability. And we should guide them and direct them and really make them the kind of people that we need. And that’s just about it really.