Never say Never!


This past weekend I got the chance to spend time with my sister in law, and her kids. I told her that I was going to use her story as inspiration for this L you have been warned! :)

My sister in law and brother in law have kids quite a bit younger than my husband and I. It is kind of like having the chance to be grandparents a bit, without the official title. Our kids are all grown now and with that, as I have said, there are opportunities for different kinds of parenting. My husband and I are now on the "on call" basis, our kids call when they need help or advice. L on the other hand, is right in the throws of parenting, as her kids are all 11 or younger. We all know that means a lot more hands on and day to day action!

The reason I decided to use my sister in law as inspiration today, is because, as I teased her, she got a dog for the family. Now this is really not a huge deal, but really it is, since L has not been keen on getting a dog, and was really against it for a long time. However, as her kids grew and the family changed and she thought about a dog, for her kids, she changed her mind. And...that is the key!! Parenting is an evolving, inexact art that always requires us to be flexible, bend and change and see how each new stage develops and what is required for the age our kids are at now.

I really admire L, she is a fabulous Mom! She is always thinking about what to do, how to do it, and what each of her kids need. She has 3 kids, 2 boys and 1 girl, and you know those kids are truly lucky! She puts hours of thought, energy and time into helping each of them. We have lately had a conversation about what books would be good to read for the next challenges to come as her kids enter new and exciting phases of life. I think that is always a good idea. Taking the time to try and prepare yourself as much as possible for what may be coming! Sometimes it even helps!

Having said all that, I guess what I really think is that good parents always are aware and involved and thinking about their kids. I know that trying to make sure that children's lives are perfect is impossible, and really not even healthy, but it is wise I think, to try and always be mindful. Be aware of what you are doing and saying, be aware of how your actions and words affect your kids. I have said before that my Dad used to say "do as I say and not as I do", and although I loved him dearly, I do not agree with that. What we do actually says more to our kids than what we say, and by demonstrating, like L did that ideas can change, and plans can be altered, we show our kids how to be real people. Life is ever changing. Helping our kids see that we can be flexible and adjust to new situations and realities of life, helps kids learn a lot. They see us demonstrating how to make choices, and how to evaluate situations throughout different parts of life. Life changes constantly, and by being flexible I think we show our kids how to become flexible themselves. Our actions always speak much louder than our words!

So, be like Gumby, the old fashioned bend and flex toy that dates me. Bend, flex, change as each part of your child's life does. Demonstrate how to do that and I bet they learn a lot from watching you. The only constant in life is change, so never say never and...Hey, you may get a call from your 27 year old who was not always comfortable trying new things and new adventures, tell you about her trip to Paris where she met new people, did new and wonderful things and is thrilled to have experienced it!

Until next time,