I guess one could say that my professional background makes me well qualified for this parenting job, but I must admit that I have had my fair share of humbling moments when it comes to parenting. Sometimes I have moments when I feel I rock it as a parent, and then other moments when I hang my head and know I could have handled something much better. Yes, there is certainly room for improvement.
When I explained why I will not buy Grand Theft Auto 5 for my son and why he is not allowed to buy it even with his own money, he replied, "but it's just a game." I can't get angry at him for wanting a game that nearly all his friends have. But I cannot, and will not, give in. There is no place for this content in a video game.
No child deserves to be hit. There are things that children do that anger parents, or that put the child or others at risk, or are socially unacceptable, but there is never a reason to hit another human being to discipline or teach. What does this mean, in plain language? It means parents should not be allowed to hit or spank their children.
By the time I hit middle school, I was bringing home more As than a family-sized box of Alphabet cereal. I was clueless when it came to drugs. I made curfew like my life depended on it. I respected my elders. By society's standards, I was a well-behaved kid. So how come I've never heard my parents say, "Son, we're proud of you"?
As a teacher, my dad has worked hard to instill in me a love of language and learning. Now, as a writer and editor with World Vision, I get to hear lots of stories of dads who, like mine did, are building a foundation for their children's futures. The reality is though, that my father has had more opportunities in life than the dads we meet with World Vision. And there's no better time to highlight those dads than on Father's Day.
Being an adult, a parent, grandparent, caregiver, teacher or other adult who interacts with children is very hard work. If we are doing our job, we must tread in dangerous waters. How can we do this in a diverse and multi-layered society? Can we nurture, protect and educate children, all at the same time?
I was trying to recall a day when I was a fantastic mom all day, where I managed to stay patient, positive and in the zone. More often than not, I flop back and forth between extremes like a fish out of water, I'm a fantastic mom, wait, nope I'm a shitty mom. It's incredible how quickly I can go from nailing it to absolutely shitting the bed.
One day I will turn around and you won't be sitting in the car seat behind me; you will be the one driving. That day is still far away, but this new path you are on is another step in that direction. Part of me wants to keep you close forever. I know this can't happen, but I feel the urge all the same.
It's an interesting phenomenon among parents, this "just wait." What will happen if all I ever do is look out for the perils that lie ahead? I'll wait and wait and wait and then these precious years will be over. And in waiting in fear of what's next, I'll have missed the process of actually getting there.
The media spotlight has long dimmed on the recent unraveling of Goodwill. But the realities remain. In their own way, each embody a range of significant issues that most of us take for granted. One of them concerns the health, wellness and livelihood of people with disabilities -- many of whom formed Goodwill's very own staff.
Our children need to develop and equip their own tool box -- we cannot do it for them. This is not our job, nor should we be trying to make our children's happiness and success our goals. This generation of parents is much too eager to do their children's work for them, and therein lies the problem.
Every person who's walked through my office door suffering from depression, anxiety, relationship or work problems, low self-esteem or addiction has a history of some type of adversity in their childhood. It's become clear to me by listening to their stories that were it not for these painful events, the person wouldn't be struggling as much as they are, today.
You wonder if it will ever get better. Wonder, too, if there really is a light at the end of the tunnel. Wonder incessantly if you will ever have energy again. All while you also wonder if you ever will see a semblance of your former self again. I hear you, friend, and I truly feel for you. I remember those days.
As a seasoned traveller, my wanderlust runs deep (from backpacking to business travel, I have circled the globe numerous times). Now as a mother of two, I am passionate about cultivating and passing along that love of travel to my children by placing an importance on collecting experiences, not things.