Thursday, July 02, 2009

Reflections on Parenting

Came across something pretty meaningful recently:

“I gave you life,
but cannot live it for you.

I can teach you things,
but I cannot make you learn.

I can give you directions,
but I cannot be there to lead you.

I can allow you freedom,
but I cannot account for it.

I can share my faith with you,
but I cannot make you believe.

I can teach you right from wrong,
but I cannot always decide for you.

I can buy you beautiful clothes,
but I cannot make you beautiful inside.

I can offer you advice,
but I cannot accept it for you.

I can give you love,
but I cannot force it upon you.

I can teach you to share,
but I cannot make you unselfish.

I can teach you respect,
but I cannot force you to show honor.

I can advise you about friends,
but cannot choose them for you.

I can advise you about sex,
but I cannot keep you pure.

I can tell you the facts of life,
but I can't build your reputation.

I can tell you about alcohol,
but I can't say "no" for you.

I can warn you about drugs,
but I can't prevent you from using them.

I can tell you about lofty goals,
but I can't achieve them for you.

I can teach you about kindness,
but I can't force you to be gracious.

I can warn you about sins,
but I cannot make you moral.

I can love you as a child,
but I cannot place you in God's family.

I can pray for you,
but I cannot make you walk with God.

I can teach you about Jesus,
but I cannot make Jesus your Lord.

I can tell you how to live,
but I cannot give you eternal life.”


Being a parent myself makes my appreciate the work and effort my own parents put in with me and my sisters. How tough it must be, to make sure we were all happy and contented, and growing up confident and vivacious!

Nic & I went for a parenting talk on Tuesday. And while I went not really expecting much, I was really pleasantly taken aback at how much I “took away” from that talk. As with all truth, it is simple and logical, yet often overlooked and neglected.

While I will probably blog in greater detail once the 2nd session of the talk happens (sometime in mid-Aug), here are some of my thoughts after the session:

1) To a child, there is no difference between “My Daddy isn’t proud of me” and “My Daddy doesn’t love me.” As parents, we need to shower them with affection and words of affirmation!

2) If there is any time to make a difference in your child’s life, it is before the age of sixteen. After the child turns 16, it is harder to get into his/her life.

3) A child is dominated by the emotional part of the brain. Older folks like us have more developed “thinking” brain processes. So questions like “Why don’t you understand?” or asking rapid-fire questions at one go only serve to confuse the child and causing them to answer “I don’t know” cos they really don’t know.

4) Breathe. Relax. Don’t lose your anger. Ever.

5) Think how I want my child to remember me as a parent. As a fun parent? A person of her word? Always there? … Then work at it.

image 6) Create special moments with your child … cos moments are all that they will carry with them to adulthood. Not the things bought or the holidays went… but those little moments where something special was shared between Daddy/Mommy and them. Have “rituals” at bed time or meal time… sing a special song or have special “actions” and keep doing it. Again and again. And again.

Of course, David (the trainer) covered a few more things… but these are the things that stayed with me.

Just some of the random thoughts racing through my brain, really… Strange thing, this parenthood. I am sleepy. Tired. And yet, still can’t get to sleep! Goodness…


Anonymous said...

Helo Sandra.. I find this post very true, i'm touch by the words.. Dont know what to say..


San said...

Thanks, Matthew :)

Jerb said...

I like your 'reflections of a parent'.. So true. Being a parent is really not an easy job!

The Redhead Riter said...

Visiting from SITS. Happy 4th of July!

Great advice!

Marina said...

I love the poem and thanks for sharing the matter how long we've been parents(or how short) we need reminders like these to take us through and be awesome parents to our kids and with God's Grace and Help, we can't go wrong :>

P.S. I'm coming over from SITS....bunny hop over to enter 4 great giveaways: Hippo books, CoverBee Laptop sleeve, Chex Mix bars, Piggy Paint- 10 winners in all!!)

Klessis said...

wooo hooo.. good stuff.. =D

Allie and Pattie said...

All so true. I found this a long time ago and it became real to me when I had my first child:
The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.She never existed before.The woman existed, but the mother, never.A mother is something absolutely new.