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.