On Parenting

I found THIS list for raising successful children. It's very inspiring. My favorite tip was something I think most of us already do so naturally. "Be enthusiastic. Make sure your face lights up when your children come near you." How easy is that? I seem to pull that one off regularly, so here's hoping my boy turns out to be a successful adult!

You'll notice the very most important point is 1st on the list. Being a parent is HUGE! I don't think every single pair of parents understands the "gravity" of their influence. It's just sad that I've actually witnessed women/men mistreating their children in ways that surely will effect their self esteems forever.

I am so fortunate to have had wonderful examples of motherhood as I've grown up and then after I got married. I've watched my friends handle their children with love and tender care.

Other than my own mother and my mother-in-law, Katie has to be the #1 mom that pops in my mind. I met her when Alli was 2. I loved how she would always get on Alli's level to speak to her. She would always give Alli her full attention when she needed it. She spoke to her with respect, just like she was a pint size adult. She created learning tools to fully exploit her daughter's development. It just amazed me each time I encountered the two of them. Just the way Katie talked about Alli when she wasn't around. She never ever complained of her stewardship. She embraces being a mother in every way a woman should.

Anyway, I've always wanted to be a mom. When I had Liam, I learned a bigger love. I don't think I've learned patience quite yet, but just the largest possible adoration for another human being. Because he is my child, he cannot ask a favor too big. I'll do anything for him with a smile (even in the middle of the night most times). Every expression and movement is beautiful and unique. His recent tantrums are even laughable. (That said, an early stage of the terrible twos will hit tomorrow. I have a way of spewing goodness and the next moment I slap myself for not knocking on wood.)

I just wish every parent was required to take a parenting course before the mother gives birth. It just makes good sense for the government to pass such a law. It's true that nothing can fully prepare a first time parent, but to be informed on the "facts" would be smart. And furthermore to be informed on some basic child psychology would be ideal too. Many moms read books to prepare themselves for motherhood or to counsel themselves through certain difficult stages of their child's development. I am one of them.

It's just ironic that society expects so much from our children, but they don't expect much from the parents. If I were a Miss America contestant, I would want "world peace" too, but with the addendum of how I would follow through on that. I think educated parenting is the wisest first step to a happier society.

I am a new mom and my opinions are neophyte in standing. I applaud and honor clever parents I've run into over the years. I look forward to learning more as my boy grows and as I reach out for further education on parenting.


Anna said...

I definately think parenting is the most important job on the face of this earth. I am printing out that list...what great things to keep in mind. I am not always nominated for the mom of the year award...there is always room for work! =) Great post...I really needed to read this one today!

Nikkie said...

Parenting is the hardest and most important job anyone could have. I agree with you on the parenting classes. I happen to know someone who has 2 three month olds and another on the way who would benefit greatly from it.

Nicole said...

I think this is the most thoughtful post. I want to be a great mom and I think when we find other mom's that we can look up to, it can really make the difference in how WE are as parents. We are all students of this thing called parenting. I love every minute of it. AND it sounds like you have studied pretty hard. You've done a great job with Liam. He is blessed to have a mommy so intentional with him.

Terri said...

Here Here....

there is no more important job on earth ...

Liam is a lucky little boy!!

Our little gifts from God!

Kayelyn said...

Amen. As I work with children and teens I can truly tell you that the one thing they are missing is parenting. I too read and looked for info to feast on while I was pregnant.

I would really like to work on a bill that change middle school and high school curriculum to include relationship and parenting classes. A small number of kids go to college. All the effort into increasing that number isn't effective. However, most of them become parents. I believe that by teaching good parenting we will increase the number of students going to college.

Just my soap box. Anyway did I say Amen toyour beautiful post?

Kim's Life said...

Gina in every post your put up. It is clear to me and Im sure every blogger who reads this. That you are a wonderful, Caring, Thoughtful mum. Your love for Liam shines through this blog.
My children are my world. My heart. There is nothing in this world that can make you love as much as children do. Your a wonderful mummy.

Lei said...

I'm not sure where I heard the advice to light up when your child walks in the room (instead of licking at him) but it has stuck with me! and my children light up when they walk in the room, too!

Katie said...

Awww, Gina, thanks! That is so sweet of you so say such kind things about me. I've been lucky enough to have a lot of child development and parenting courses, but I've been blessed enough to have a pretty good perspective most days. The only thing I ever really wanted to do and do well was be a mother. Nothing makes up for failure there. I liked the first point about spending great swaths of time with our children. I had a professor once tell me that you can't have quality time without quantity time, and that's always stuck with me.

Thanks again. You've made my day!

Kayelyn said...

I know I posted earlier, but I failed to agree with you that Katie is a GREAT mother. I loved watching her and I miss her. She reminds me that keeping it simple is smart and that understanding your children is HUGE!!

anyway, I just wanted to add my 2nd witness to what your said.