Better Parenting Grows Better Kids

I realize I’m preaching to the choir, and I want to give you credit for making the effort to grow as a parent.  Just the fact that you are open to “better parenting” skills speaks volumes for your commitment to personal growth.  I wish all of those who are called to provide for the young felt the same way.

During my 5th grader’s Graduation Ceremony last week, I witnessed two extreme attitudes toward children’s education.

The first won’t surprise you: Teachers asked parents to keep making kids read and practice math skills every day over the summer.

The second was worse than the opposite:  A mother sitting next to me boldly proclaimed to the cafeteria, “I did that! Yup, that was me!” as her sweet daughter walked across the stage.  It was clear she was both proud of her daughter, and taking credit for her daughter successfully completing the fifth grade.  What shocked me was that the mother continued to boast,

“My job is done.  I am done with that one; she’s on her own now.  One down and two to go!  Let’s face it, this will probably be the last graduation she gets.”

I wish I could believe that she was just kidding around.

The rich stay rich, and the poor stay poor.

“Your children will become what you are; so be what you want them to be.”           –David Bly

I keep thinking about the cycles perpetuated in parenthood.  Those in military service have children that are patriotic and join the service when they grow up.  Politicians know how to plant their children in political circles.  Firemen, Policemen, etc. take pride in coming from a family of emergency workers.

better parenting

When I worked at the “Food Stamp” office, I witnessed mothers teaching their daughters (once on an 18th birthday) how to fill out forms for government assistance.  I found women who knew my job better than I did, and women who could have worked above me because they knew the system so well.  Seriously, they could have worked in the office if they applied.  But instead, some families were so entrenched in the life of receiving benefits, that they didn’t strive for a life without them.

Better Parenting

My kids learn from me; they take from me and those around them, and form themselves.  They learn from what they see me do; how they see me react to adversity; how I talk about others.  Sometimes they even learn from what I lecture them about.  I don’t want to look into the mirror provided by my children and be disappointed, so I do my best to pass on the knowledge and experience I have at hand.  I work hard to find and try “better parenting” skills so that my kids will be better than me.

“Your children will become what you are; so be what you want them to be.”           –David Bly

It’s worth repeating.  Think about what you want your kids to learn from you.  What do you want them to remember about you when they’re grown?  What do you want them to tell their grandkids about you when you’re gone? And to the woman who is “done” with her 5th grade graduate… don’t count your daughter out just yet, she might surprise you!

I'd love to hear what has worked for you!

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