Thursday, February 08, 2007

What are the Keys to Good Parenting? A Survey

Did you ever notice that most books on parenting are written from the parents' perspective? Maybe we've got this thing backwards. How about the Keys to Good Parenting written from the perspective of the child, albeit an adult child. Help me here. Thinking back, what were the best things that your parents did in the process of raising you? What did they do right?

One word descriptions or many paragraphs would be gratefully received.


T. Azimuth Schwitters said...

my parents allowed me to have complete control over my appearance, meaning i could participate in all the hair-bleaching, head-shaving shenanigans i wanted...and maybe it was the freedom to do it, but in the end, i didn't do all that much. in any case, a child's appearance does not seem to be much of a discipline issue, and i think talking over style changes with your children can make them feel that they have a voice in something that is very, very important to them socially. so, yeah.

in other news: the post-christmas poem list at paterson project is up to 3! hooray!

thanks, brd.

cadh 8 said...

OK, I agree, but did end up with "the wave" bangs back in the 80s due to all that freedom...

The best things my parents did are: helping me get a lawn service job as a young teen. This empowered me as a girl. Not many girls mowed lawns.
Then they made me buy my first car. Oh, did I hate watching all my friends get nice cars from their parents, but then I have never loved a vehicle like I loved my first truck. I loved that truck more than I loved any of the newer nicer cars I have driven since. Buying that thing with all my own money felt SO good.
Finally, my parents allowed me to grow from "child who must do what they say" to "respected friend". Sure I had to earn that right, but I felt the respect that they gave to what I thought and felt. This was most clear to me one time when I, again as a young teen, told my dad that I felt that he had been too hard on a boy in our band class (Dad taught band). After the discussion I did not think much more about it, until Dad publically apologized to the boy at our next session. It was at that moment that I knew dad did not think of me as just a kid to be dismissed. He respected my much so as to humble himself and apologize in front of a whole class.

OH, and one more very important thing. Every day...and I mean EVERY single day, growing up my mom would get up before everyone else and read her Bible, pray and study. I used to think that this was just something adults did, but it is not. It was this week that I realized that unless I made a plan to be like mom in this, I would continue pressing the snooze button and barely getting out the door on time in the morning. I am trying to become more like mom, focusing my day by prioritizing that Bible study and prayer.

I have great parents, so I could go on and on. I love the idea of this blog. A great change of perspective.

brd said...

Thanks t. azimuth and cadh8!

I should, I suppose, add my comment based on my relationship with my parents.

When I thought about this, there was clearly one thing I thought about more than anything else. My parents loved me unconditionally. Good or bad, sucessful or unsuccessful, I felt loved. I guess, in fact, I have never thought of love in terms of conditionality, because I was loved without condition.

Anna said...

Doing things together as a family and being supportive as much as possible even when there are differences of opionion.

Anna said...

Some of my best conversations with my parents were during car trips. And I've found the same to be true with my own boys.

brd said...

In our house, my children claim that you are allowed to say anything, anything at all, expletives not deleted, if it is said at the dinner table. Somehow, the dinner table is safe, no matter what.

Anna, it sounds like your family had and has some safe talking places also. Somehow, I think this is a good thing.