I was about to post this vacation photo on social media last week, and a simple thought hit me out of nowhere. I realized that this was not only our daughter, Greylynn’s, first beach trip, but the picture I was posting was her first ever “beach pic.” I know, I know, new parents are super weird about firsts 😂.
This thought hit me at a deeper level, though. I came face to face with the fact that Courtney and I are responsible for so much of what our kids are exposed to and experience as they grow up.
Our daughter’s first beach trip was at three months old, not because she wanted to, but because we made the choice for her. Will she remember it? Of course not. But I couldn’t help but think of all of the other choices that we’ll be making for her and her brother that are far weightier than a simple beach trip.
When and how they’ll use social media. The kind of entertainment they’re allowed to consume. Where they’ll go to church. How they’ll view money. The list could go on and on.
I’m realizing that many of these choices seem insignificant. At least, at first. But the reality is, our repeated choices create a culture for our kids.
That’s what I feel like is at the heart of Proverbs 22:6.
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Every day that we wake up, we put on our parenting shoes and create a culture for our kids. It can be healthy, or not so healthy. The choice is ours.
It’s hard for me to swallow this fact, but I’m realizing that every little choice and decision I make is another building block for the kind of choices and decisions they will one day make.
For years, we will choose for our kids. But one day they will begin to choose for themselves. At that point, what we want for them will be just that, what we want for them.
We’ll still have a voice, but our level of influence will have already been decided by then.
These small, daily decisions we’re making may seem small now, but trust me — they’re adding up whether we realize it or not.