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.”
Babies cry for all sorts of reasons. Hunger. Thirst. Discomfort. Sometimes just to exercise their lungs. When we brought my first-born home, he cried almost constantly.
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.
I have often wondered if really heavy people know how much better they would feel both physically and mentally if they would just put in the effort to shed some pounds. I began losing weight to feel better about myself mentally, but the physical benefits far outweigh the mental.
There is no reason why parents cannot bring their children up to choose a life based on fact rather than one based on faith yet, still allowing them to share in the beauty and diversity of other cultures and ethnicities including their differing religions. Although we may not adopt a culture's religious beliefs, we can still enjoy and even share in their customs.
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.
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.
When my children were young, I learned that sometimes you literally have to have a fire lit under you to appreciate how dear those close to you are. We moved to the country looking for a safer, less stressful life for ourselves and our two young children. Our rural Minnesota house sat well back from the road. There was ample room for Nicki, our three-year old, and Lance, our six year old, to play safely on the five acre plot of land that surrounded our house.