Growing up in the East St. Louis taught me a lot about peace. Kids would act up in class and the teacher would call the parents to the school. If the parents came, they often acted worse than the child. It was clear to see why the child acted the way they did.
If we want a better world, we have to be better people with the confines of our homes. Yes, home should be where you can let it all hang out, but if you are violent, mean-spirited, hot-tempered, uneducated w/o compassion, disloyal, a thief, a liar, etc. Nine times out of ten, you are going to rear children who think everyone lives this way and they will bring that anti-social behavior into the world with them.
When I first met my husband, I explained to him that I wanted to create a household bases on peace, love and understanding. He agreed, but since he really had no idea of how to create this atmosphere, he had a hard time adjusting.
The most peculiar thing he would do, would be to get upset when he heard the kids getting loud, or even laughing. I had to bring it to his attention. Upon further examination, he realized he inherited that ridiculous behavior from his father, who thought children should be seen and not heard, even if they where expressing happiness or joy. Once he figured out why he responded that way, he was able to stop it and actually learned to accept that our kids being happy, in the home, meant a great deal. I felt so triumphant the first time he came to me and said, "Listen! Isn't that the best sound?" It was our children laughing.
Even though my husband and I have been through some of the worse experiences any couple could imagine, we have been able to rear children who are well-adjusted and happy for the most part. This is because we did our best to be decent to each other, especially if we were angry with each other. Sure we have argued in front of them and we have slammed doors etc., but it is how we have dealt with the aftermath of these turbulent times that I feel has made all the difference in the world.
When things were tense, if our children expressed concern we explained to them that all couples argue at some point. We'd apologize for disturbing them and reassured them we were okay. We also explained to them that is was not their responsibility to make sure we were okay, it was up to us.
I am glad I understood we are all responsible for our own actions and that we can create the lives we desire by being the people we desire others to be to us.