It all starts at home...and the never ending story!


This week I spent a good deal of time talking with my colleagues at school. It is parent-teacher conference time, which always lends itself to discussion of family and children. We were debating how to have productive conversations with parents, and the best way to do that. While having this discussion, we talked about all the different types of parents and family models we get to see and observe in our jobs. It is such a rewarding profession! We get to work with lots of little children and hopefully make a difference in their lives and their development.

One of the general consensus observations we came to is that family and the model it presents, is tremendously important in the development of children. At the school we work at, we are fortunate to have parents who are almost to a family, very involved and invested in their children's welfare. It is rewarding to work in this type of setting since most parents already "buy into" the idea that parenting and how you do that makes a big difference in the way your child develops and how they "turn out"! I love being able to affirm that thought process as we talk during our conference time together.

As my partner and I were meeting with our parents this morning, it was wonderful to be able to share stories and our observations about their children when they are in school. It is also quite interesting to see the parents respond and have them comment on how the behavior or trait we may be talking about, is one they also see in themselves. On the other side of that idea is the parent who sees the behavior or trait we are discussing as one that they have observed in their spouse, and even perhaps a sibling or a grandparent. So, parenting makes a difference, but so does genetics. Some types of characteristics are just part of each one of our DNA! When we talk with parents about behavior that is dissimilar to their personalities, we comment on how part of each one of us just "is". We are all, in my opinion, born with a certain disposition. From that point, it is up to parents to figure out what to and how to help their children tap into the best parts of themselves and become the best people they can become. One of the fathers we had a chance to talk with today shared that his parenting vision is to provide lots of opportunities for his children. Open the door, so to speak, and see what excites them. I love this idea! It means that this parent knows his job is to help his children figure out what excites them and what avenues to explore. Here is an example of how it truly does all start at home. The opportunities and experiences we provide for our children make a difference in what they will become and how they will design their lives.

The other topic I thought about this week is the idea of "The Never Ending Story". This is an actual movies title of a children's film. I know this because my daughter and my nephew watched this movie so much when they were little that I think they wore the cassette of the film out, yes, I am dating myself here. My point here is that while I was contemplating what to discuss with parents at conferences I also spent time talking with my colleagues about all of our grown children. Every one of us has children who are now adults, and either in college or graduated from college. We laughed at ourselves because here we are thinking about all these young parents and their children, while also knowing that we still spend a ton of time thinking about and sometimes even stressing about, how to help our grown children. Parenting truly is a never ending job and it does all start at home.

So, start well at home. Think about your kids and what is best for them. Know that when you take on this job it truly is a life long journey, a never ending story. A job that can not be forfeited, you do not get to send your child back to Russia, like the adopted mother did that I read about in yesterday's Chicago Tribune. Good parenting...It all starts at home and is a truly "Never Ending Story"! Enjoy the journey!

Until next time,