It’s Monday Listicles time again.
Erin: When Lisa at Sprog asked us to make a list of 10 Things our Parents Did Right, I was intrigued. Heck, I was even excited. Then I started thinking. Our babies are all growing up, and we are in the enviable position of sitting back and taking a little look-see around at how things are going. So I started thinking about what Ellen and I hoped we were getting right.
Ellen: And I started panicking. I’m used to being judged by my tween and teen on a daily basis, but this performing for the gold medal of motherhood is going to go on forever! My kids could be writing lists about ME on a blog 20 years from now.
Erin: Oh my, that is something to think about…
Ellen: We both have families that are great at grabbing the fun in life, but parenting is not all sunshine and giggles. I really feel like I need to defend myself for some of the things I do. You know, plead my case for the future.
Erin: Well now that you got me all worked up, I agree.
So without further ado:
Pleading Our Case for Ten Things We Hope We Are Doing Right As Parents
1.We work hard and ask them to do the same. We try to instill in our kids that they are blessed and for them to appreciate that. Some things will come easy for them and some things won’t.
Ellen’s go-to t-shirt motto is “Hard work beats talent when talent hardly works.” Pretty much sums it up. If you are talented, you need to bring your A game. Every Day. If you have struggles, you can beat them with hard work and determination.
We hope they know. . .
2. We support, but we don’t do excuses. We are all kinds of available. Whether our kids need a ride, a good meal, help conjugating a verb, or advice, we make the time to listen and be there. We are their shoulder to cry on. But if they skip practices and don’t make the team or they blow off studying and get a “D,” we are here to tell them they got the results that equaled the effort they put forth. No pity parties.
And on that note…
3. We don’t do confetti canons. And we deplore participation trophies. A rich life is not about just showing up. We model that you achieve for yourself. Your reward is that you get to lead the life you want to live.
4. We respect their successes as THEIRS alone. NOT ours. We revel in their achievements and are thrilled for them, but when it’s their moment to shine, we step out of the limelight. We have chronic shoulder injuries; we refuse to tweak them by straining to pat ourselves on the back.
And to take it a step further…
5. We respect them. They are not our products or our possessions. They are their own people with their own thoughts, goals, and likes.
But with that in mind, we do our fair share of influencing…
6.We immerse our kids in culture.Ugh. Sounds dreadful, right? Wrong.
We watch movies, read books, use technology, dance to Wii games, watch Youtube videos, visit museums, travel, listen to music, take our kids to restaurants, take them to sporting events, and talk about the news. In short, we participate. It’s a great big world and we are all just living in it. Also, life’s a whole lot funnier if you get the jokes.
And the jokes are even better when you can share them…
7.We are good at turning family into friends. Family is your first best friend. Period. Siblings are included. Always. Our homes are places of safety and kind words. Meanness is not allowed or passed off as that is just what kids do. We hope this is the recipe for developing blood bonds into actual ones.
But don’t get us wrong, we’re not some freaky Von Trapp cult…
8.We are good at turning friends into family. Friendships are the true gifts in life and we have been very fortunate in finding some that have moved into the realm of family. Our kids are lucky enough to be surrounded by loving people. We hope they appreciate how special this really is.
But when you are this blessed, it is your responsibility to give back…
9. We model service. One of our friends said that she would feel like an utter failure if her kids achieved personal success without any regard for other people. We agree with heads nodding wildly in solidarity. There is no aspect of our lives where we don’t give a little of our time and talent.
But you can’t feel a need to serve unless…
10.We teach responsibility. We teach household tasks and hold them accountable. We let them know that our teams require team players. No gold stars for pitching in. Adults don’t get any rewards for cleaning up messes or taking care of themselves. Some things just need to get done, and nobody is going to do them for you. Best to learn this lesson from those who know you and love you best.
Okay, gavels down. We’re going to make sure our kids have the hyperlink to this post, when they are passing their own judgments.
By Ellen Williams Erin Dymowski