For many years, I was intimidated by doctors. I grew up thinking the doctor was always right. I have a crooked little finger that resulted from a doctor telling my mom it wasn't broken. It apparently was. It wasn't until I had children of my own that I learned the value of getting a second opinion when you have any question at all about your doctor's diagnosis or the treatment he or she may recommend.
We all want to provide for our children, to give them a better life than we had, no matter how rich or poor a background we come from. Yet, I think the best way to provide for our children is to prepare them to lead a rewarding life.
Punishment, either mental or physical beats up a person or brings them down. Discipline teaches self control. Parents weren't meant to bully their children with punishment. We are meant to teach our children to learn social norms and control themselves within those norms.
It is through play that we nurture our imagination, creativity, and ingenuity. If you give a child the opportunity to play, along with the playfulness, he will carry those characteristics into his adult life.
Too often, when they become adolescents, our children feel they must decide on what they want to be when they grow up. Adolescence is just too young for somebody to decide what they will do for a lifetime. Setting long-term goals at such a young age can hinder a young person's growth more than help it.
At one point or another, every parent hears their child say, “I didn’t meant to” or “I didn’t try to.” Sometimes all that is needed is a nod and a, “I know. It’s okay.” Other times something more is called for. One of my favorite responses was “You didn’t try not to.”
My young son asked, “Momma, who do you love more? Me or Nicki?” I had to think. I knew the stock answer was, “I love you both the same,” but I didn’t. I loved some qualities about him that she didn’t have and she had some lovable qualities that I didn’t see in him.
For just a moment, I wished the nostalgic wish that crosses every mother's mind from time to time. I wished that I could go back in time and hear the youthful voices of my children and their friends one more time.