Parent Happiness

106.7 Lite FM is responsible for this post on Facebook. It hit home for me immediately. A parent never stops being a parent, so when your children demonstrate repeated acts and words of goodness … you sure can breathe a sigh of relief.

I bet you have had friends that you enjoy socializing with, but avoid it because their kids are devil children? You want to ask them over for dinner, but don’t know how to tell them to leave the children with a babysitter. And if the friendship survives past the elementary years, you find that middle school proves to be a test of real endurance and you start taking bets as to when these kids will be having their first run in with the police (sad, but true, huh?) Then you find yourself kissing your own children a lot and even buying them a special treat while reciting, “Thank you for being a good person”.

Wish I knew where it all goes wrong with some kids. Guess if I did, I’d be rich and famous by now. I do know that communicating (often) with your kids sure increases the chances that they will be genuinely good people. Some parents have told me they don’t know what to talk about with their kids. It can get harder as they get older, more opinionated, and seek privacy so you have to start early. For example, I would ask my kids each day “what did you learn today?”. Ben would try the standard, “nothing”. I wouldn’t let him off the hook until he found something he had learned. It wasn’t always academic in nature and that was fine … he was talking. When he would learn something about another kid, a new rule, mention something he overheard, or talk about what got a fellow student in trouble … communication lines expanded and I never knew where that path would take us. Having breakfast and dinner, around the table, provided another great communication venue. Leah loved to tell stories about her day. What happened to the tradition of eating together? I’m not saying my meals were fancy or always homemade, but they brought us together without TV, phone or other interruptions. As parents, we would tell stories and so would the children. Current events were brought up and everyone was allowed to voice their thoughts on subjects. We would debate, tease, and laugh with and at each other (all very normal and healthy dynamics). “Children should be seen and not heard” doesn’t really work if you want to have a good relationship with your children and be able to influence how they turn out (and have influence beyond). Children need you most when they are pushing you away the hardest, so don’t give-up and watch being critical and judgmental. Asking “what do you think?” goes a long way, remember that. Before you know it, they will be asking you what you think.

Just some thoughts after reading this saying.

Make the most of your day!

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