Choosing Your Children

Wouldn't it be great to be able to go to a store and examine all the possible offspring and take one with you? Like within the grocery aisle, you could scan the array, searching for the brightest, ripest, juiciest, or sweetest of them all. Then you could wrap it up and head for the exit. Once at home, you beam with pride over your smart choice and begin to enjoy all that they have to offer.

If this appears to be more of an adoption tale than anything else, then not so fast. I'm not discussing adoption. I'm talking about raising our own natural-born children. And we do it everyday, without even realizing it. Sure, we have little control over the genetic characteristics that are inbred, but after the birth, all the environmental factors kick in. From the earliest stages, we actually make all the decisions for the child and, therefore, create the various aspects of their future personality. If that's not choosing your child, than what is?

If the father of a boy is prone to play sports or go hunting, he unconsciously begins teaching his son about tossing a ball or playing with guns. Would the child have asked for these things if the dad hadn't done so for him? Or what about mom buying her daughter that baking oven or craft set? See how we influence them? During the first few years, we have a captive audience within the toddler. They listen to our music, see our taste in colors, furnishings, and our lifestyle. If we travel, they travel. If we camp, they camp. But they also get to see the seamy side, as well.

If you argue or yell at your spouse, do you always conduct these fights away from the children? Are you constantly aware of how they react to your emotional outbursts? While it's perfectly normal to have disputes and differences of opinion, you are always "on-stage" before your audience of offspring. Regardless of your intent, you are molding them into a clone of your behavior, including likes and dislikes.

For instance, do you keep lots of junk food in the house, or are you opting for more health alternatives? They eat what you eat. Do you attend church? Do you watch a lot of television? If so, what are your favorites; dramas, comedies or reality shows? Your kids see the world through your eyes. Are you an organized neat-nick or a disorganized slob? How do they keep their rooms? Is it a reflection of your home?

As they grow, they understand more and more about your lifestyle. Do you smoke or do drugs in the house? How about alcohol? Are you obese or addicted to gambling or sex? They tend to mimic your behavior; so don't be surprised as they begin looking and acting more like you every day. When you chose to have them, you also chose to choose for them. These are lessons that they will carry with them into adulthood. If you could do things differently, now that they're older, would you still have designed their life the way you did, or would you have gone a different direction? This is especially true, knowing what you know now. For those couple planning a family, consider this. You do get to choose your children's lives, and that's almost the same as first squeezing the cantaloupe or sampling the red grapes. Only with far great consequences once you get them home.

Jeffrey Hauser was a sales consultant for the Bell System Yellow Pages for nearly 25 years. He graduated from Pratt Institute with a BFA in Advertising and has a Master's Degree in teaching. He had his own advertising agency in Scottsdale, Arizona and ran a consulting and design firm, ABC Advertising. He has authored 6 books and a novel, "Pursuit of the Phoenix." His latest book is, "Inside the Yellow Pages" which can be seen at his website, Currently, he is the Marketing Director for, a Health Information and Doctor Referral site.

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