I don’t have a good memory. I couldn’t tell you the names of half the people I attended college with or even what my last course was.
My recollections of early childhood are scattered at best. I’m sure my parents sacrificed much to take me and my sister on family vacations and I honestly don’t remember where we went or what we saw.
But here is what I do remember…
I remember my dad pulling our car into a parking lot when I was quite young because he witnessed a man getting aggressive with a woman. He told me to stay put, proceeded to get out of the car, and intervened in a situation that many would ignore.
I remember my mom always being more concerned about others’ happiness over her own. She cleaned countless houses to earn enough money to pay for the prom dress of my dreams. Same for my wedding dress. Yet I cannot recall her ever buying something pricey for herself.
Now that I’m a mom, I often wonder if I’m concentrating on the right areas of emphasis when it comes to parenting…especially when it comes to my two boys.
(My daughter is a whole different ball-o-wax and I’m simply trying to survive her overly dramatic phase. And, yes, I realize the chances are pretty strong that she will NEVER grow out of it.)
Last week, I took my boys with me to help stuff school supplies for a backpack giveaway event. They didn’t know what to expect in terms of time commitment. And I was anxious to see how they would respond to a grown-up volunteer opportunity. I knew what my expectations were in terms of their behavior and, fortunately, they met them.
I had a woman pull me aside at one point and tell me, “You have some very nice boys.”
How do I articulate to them the pride I felt upon hearing this feedback? They know I love it when they excel in the classroom and on the athletic field. But the act of being a compassionate individual trumps all.
We also used some quiet time in the car to talk about goal setting. I personally got a late start when it comes to documenting and working on goals, but I believe this practice is one of the best lessons I can instill in my boys.
I may ask their permission to share a few of their goals in a future post and I will do the same. Stay tuned.
It’s a huge responsibility, the influence we have on our children. I agree with your priorities there!
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If we parent quietly, and no (too) agressively, I think our children learn mindfulness and respect quite young. And then, if we observe them going through life, we will realize that we are actually here to learn from them…