Like a Rock


This past weekend while I was traveling, I started to think a lot about how a solid foundation really is important for kids as they grow up. We had the chance to spend a wonderful weekend with our oldest daughter, her lovely boyfriend, friends of hers and friends of ours. As we talked with everyone throughout the weekend, it occurred to me that family, and the support or lack of support it provides, makes a difference in how people develop.

One of the first things I talked about, or to, when I began this blog, is that no child asks to be brought into this world. We, as the adults, get to make that choice and create children. I argued that once that occurs, it is up to us, the adults that created the child, to do our absolute best for the lovely person we have delivered into this world. It is the ultimate responsibility to be a parent and to raise a child.

During conversations I had this weekend, it was clear that where someone comes from and the type of family they have, or don't have can make a big difference in the type of adult that person becomes. One person I spoke with is a new mother. She has a 15 month old and is trying to decide what type of parent she will continue to become. Right now she is learning how to be a mother and her partner is learning how to be a father. They are so lovely to watch. They are uber involved with their son and are seeking advice and consult from family and friends who have already been down the path they are on, or have already passed through this beginning parenting process. In talking with them, I know they will create a strong sound person. I know this because they are searching and learning and wanting to become the best parents possible for their son. They understand that their child needs them to do what is best and right for him.

Another person I got to converse with is a new father also. He has a son who is also 15 months old and is also learning how to be a father. I loved seeing his photos and hearing him talk about this son. I do not know him well, but you could tell through what he was saying and doing that he has become transformed! I call the parenting process a transformation because you go from thinking mostly about yourself and your life, to thinking constantly (and sometimes obsessively) about your children and what they need and what you need to do for them and how to protect them..etc.etc.etc.! My best guess is that this father's son will become a wonderful adult also, because he has a father who seems to be totally committed to his son and his life.

One of the other people I got to meet disturbed me. Although he spent time showing beautiful pictures of his children, I doubted his ability to be in this parenting thing for the long haul and in it for the benefit of his children. I wondered if he liked the idea of fatherhood, but perhaps not the reality of fathering. I do not know this man, but do know that he is already separated from his children's mother, and the youngest is just 11 months old. I am not trying to be the judge of this man, I am just wondering if he is going to be able to do what is needed for his children, or if he is going to do what he needs to take care of himself first. I think that parenting requires a lack of selfishness and the ability to put our own needs aside . I do not think that we, as adults who raise children, need to forgo all our own needs and desires, but I do think that when it comes to a choice, we always have to put our children's needs first. Remember, they did not ask us to bring them into the world. We did that!

Parenting well does not have to be debilitating! Good parenting requires us to be present, to be aware to be involved. Good parenting requires that we show our children we love them completely and unconditionally and will do what is best for them even if they don't like it. I got to chat a few weeks ago with a mom of a child I had in class years ago. Her son is now in 8th grade and doing all the things young adolescents do.....sometimes sneaking out, sometimes sneaking extra texting time, sometimes searching the internet for all the scary stuff that is out there, etc. etc.(think about all the stuff you may have done as a young teenager!) She was sharing with me her frustration about how some of her sons friends parents do not seem to set rules for their kids, and choose to get them out of, or ignore the trouble they are in. She said it was frustrating for her to be the type of parent who sets rules and requires her son to follow them and then watch the "fray" around her and him as other kids have different , or nonexistent consequences. I empathized with her and complimented her on hanging in there and doing the right things for her son. I reminded her that her son has lots of friends, and needs her to be his parent. He will thank her for that when he is older. She is setting a solid foundation for him. One that will give him the right guidelines and pathways he need as he grows through this teenage phase into adulthood.

So, in summary, I suggest that good parenting requires us to build a solid foundation for our kids. One that lets our children know we care and demonstrates love and respect. One that lets kids know we will make the hard choices and choose to do what is needed to help them become competent, ethical responsible adults!

Maybe if you choose the "solid" path you will get to have your daughter take you out to lunch and thank you for "filling her bucket to overflowing" so that she could become the lovely, talented, competent business owner she is today!

Until next time,