On Parenting

Standard

Today’s Blogging101 assignment is to “personalize”, or continue to do so.  I think they’re talking more about the appearance of one’s blog, but an article in today’s Washington Post really spoke to me.

I became a parent at the ripe old age of 17.  I always say it’s a good thing I became a parent when I did, while I still knew everything.  Because of course when you’re a teenager you’re smarter than anyone else in your world – probably smarter than all of them combined, right?  At least the adults.  You know everything.  No one has ever felt, thought, looked, acted, knew what you are feeling, thinking, acting out, knowing – no one has ever experienced what you’re going through.  If they say they have you know they’re lying.

It’s no wonder statistics are poor when it comes to teenage or single parents (and let’s face it, many single parents start at a very young age).  I took my job as a parent very seriously.  So many adults that I respected and looked up to – teachers, especially – told me not only was I ruining my life, I was ruining the life of my children by having them while I myself was still a child.  I had to prove them wrong.

What does any of this have to do with the article referenced above?  One thing I think I got right was telling my children, “I don’t care what you do in your life, just be sure you always do it to the very best of your ability.  Don’t worry about what other people think – if you can look yourself in the mirror and be pleased with the person looking back at you, you’re on the right track.  And please please please get your education.  You may not need a college degree to sack groceries (one of my son’s aspirations when he was in elementary school) but if you have that degree you’ll be sacking groceries because you want to, not because others think that’s all you’re able to do.”

They listened.  They’re both amazing adults of whom I could not be prouder.  They’re both terrific parents, in partnership with their spouses, and they’re raising terrific kids themselves.

I can only take one third the credit.  Their father and stepmother get the other two thirds.  We all share the credit with the help from our families and friends.  We’ve all come a very long way since this picture ….

Thanksgiving Day with Jim-Grandpa-Michelle-Grandma-Peg 1986ish

(Shown here with my mom and dad, Thanksgiving too many years ago.)

Advertisements

3 responses »

  1. I think telling teenagers that they CAN’T possibly do something is a great way to get them to do it! How wonderful to realize you’ve raised a family that will make the world a better place. Love has a way of doing that.

    • Thank you for your kind comment! I believe I was beyond blessed with the two children with whom I was entrusted … they were always very good, eager to learn, eager to please, relatively easy to raise. As a parent there are so many things I would do differently now but we all survived and they beat the statistics soundly. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s