Tuesday, February 23, 2016

My Hope for My Children...

As I was walking my dog this morning, I came across this freshly cut tree stump.  It caused me to reflect.  This stump revealed to me that this tree was healthy and strong.  It was not rotting from the inside out.  It had laid down ring after ring of years of experiences.  My prayer is that if I were to gaze inside each of my children I would see the same thing, that my children are strong and healthy from the inside out.  That they have what it takes to weather the winds of this confusing and at times depressing world.  That their self identity will continue to support them in their life paths.

As parents, don't we all hope and pray for this to be the result of our shared time with our children? We all go through the moments and days and years trying to build resilience and strength into our children from the inside out.  We want them to lay down rings that speak to their self worth, their talents and abilities, their hopes and dreams.  We want their rings to connect to their roots--to us their parents, to their aunts and uncles, and grandparents.  The generations of those who walked before us and sacrificed and loved and pushed forward their hopes and dreams and ideals in order that we may become all we were meant to become and in turn grow another generation dedicated to the future hopefulness of our collective existence.

But forming strong rings in our children requires an element of struggle.  Children who have everything provided to them and are expected to contribute nothing, do not grow strong rings. Children who have parents who solve every issue and rush in to always make everything better, do not grow strong rings.  As difficult as it is to hear, children grow rings through pain.  Children grow rings through struggle.  Children grow rings through perseverance and work.  Children grow rings through controlled rebellion and parental love, nurturing and authority.  Children grow rings through a spiritual life.  Children grow rings through valuable friendships and positive social interactions--and sometimes by weathering the storms of disappointment in failed friendships and peer relationships.

I hope that as parents, we all can understand the value of raising our children to have strong rings and deep roots, for our good and all the good that is to come into each of our children's lives.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Childhood is a wonderful time.  It is a time of innocence and pretend play.  It is a time for imagination and creativity.  It is a time to feel safe and loved and cared for by your parents.  Don't selfishly sacrifice this wonderful time in your child's life because you want to see a movie.  Don't pretend that you are being "nice" to your child by including him/her in your movie outings that feature content that is not appropriate.  Don't let your child grow up too fast...because you don't monitor or limit his/her media exposure.  Allowing your child to swear and act like an edgy, rebellious teenager does not make YOU look cool.  This isn't about you...it is about your child.  Be an adult.  Be a parent.  Be a protector.  Protect your child from dark and inappropriate messages and content.

Childhood is precious.  Childhood is fleeting.  Childhood should be protected by a parent who is acting like a superhero...the responsible, caring, unselfish hero that cares about the impacts of his/her actions.

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

This mom's actions made me so sad!

I was in Target today and as a preschool teacher, and empty nest mother of four, I tend to notice children.  Today as I was walking through an aisle, there was an adorable little girl who was joyfully asking her mother to come and see the "big robot!" that she had spied in another aisle.  I am guessing she was about three years old.  She was so excited about sharing what she saw with her mother, and her mother's reaction?  Well let's just say it made me so sad...

Her mother was engrossed in reading some tag on a novelty candle.  Even though the little girl asked repeatedly, the mother did not look at her, answer her, engage with her in anyway.  She was completely and 100% ignoring her child.  This was not a split second observation.  I continued to walk through the store and even from across the store I could still here the child sweetly pleading with the mom to come and see this incredibly exciting robot.

Could you imagine if, as a preschool teacher I did that to my students?  Could you imagine if I treated a friend that way?  What gives the parent the right to tune out the words of their child?  What gives a parent the right to disrespect this little life that they created by completely, 100% ignoring her?  Is the mom bored of being a mom?  Is the mom tired of her darling little girl?  

I understand parenting can be taxing.  I get that it can be exhausting and boring and repetitive.  But if you don't see your children as a blessing to your life.  If you can't give them your best self.  If you don't have the energy to think about someone else, and sacrifice for that someone else, and be devoted and caring and loving towards that someone else...don't become a parent.

Parenting requires maturity.  Parenting requires sacrifice.  Parenting is not easy.  Don't become a parent if you aren't committed to being a good one.
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