Character More Important Than Grades

“… what matters most to us now is our four children’s character and how well they treat others.”

A month into our marriage, I got pregnant! It was unplanned and we had no idea how to be parents. Nevertheless, we were overjoyed and Tristan was born on Easter Sunday in 2006. Raising a baby was challenging indeed and we wished we had a parenting manual to help us.

When Tristan was three years old, I received the book, Parenting – A Roller Coaster Experience. The title caught my attention as I could relate to the roller coaster experience of parenting. I had become so fixated on being the ‘perfect mother’ that I was neglecting my relationship with my husband. The words in page 16 of chapter 1 hit me: “A father and mother’s love and their commitment to each other is the foundation in providing security in the home.”

I realized the first relationship my son will model after is my relationship with my spouse. I then decided to leave my job in the city and return to Malacca to be a proper family unit. In 2009, our baby girl arrived and we had to work harder to ensure that both children get the same care, love and attention.

Work takes up a lot of our time but we’re reminded to have family fun time as these times build relationships and memories. We followed the suggestion in the book to have family fun time once a month.

After 11 years of marriage, we now have two boys and two girls. When we need reminders of how to raise our kids, we go back to the book. Books have the ability to change our lives and this book did in ways known and wider.

We live in a world where having the best grades and the best things in life matters but what matters most to us now is our four children’s character and how well they treat others. The “Golden Rule” is something I will never forget and leaving this as a legacy to my children is worth more than any fortune.

When I heard two of my dear friends were pregnant, this was the book that came to mind. It’s an ideal and practical gift, which is easy to read, understand and apply in our daily lives.

— Magdaleen Spykerman


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