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in my humble opinion…

March 9, 2009

i’m just gonna mention a few things on parenting again.

look. i don’t know what i’m doing half the time. most of us parents don’t. there’s no manual. everything seems to be trial and error. and usually the first born experiences mostly errors. sorry for that.

one thing that really hit me tho, on this post, while reading through your comments and emails is that we have to take our roles as parents seriously!

we get one shot.


that’s it.

there is no going back for do-overs. there are no make-up tests. this is it. what you invest, or don’t invest, is what you’re young ones will take away. what they take away, will be exactly what you’ve given them.

what are you willing to give them?

you know what they really want? your time. what do they see you investing your time in?

the time we don’t give them is non-refundable.

and im speaking to myself more than i am to any other person right now.

i am not suggesting to not have a life outside of your children. it’s good for them to see us taking care of ourselves. nurturing our other relationships. investing quality time as well into others.

no, what i’m saying is show them they are worthy of your time and attention. show them they are loved by demonstrating that to them through hugs, kisses, walking by them and squeezing their hand. ask them questions? ask them how their day was…and then listen to them. this means the world to kids. they may not show it to you – but trust me, their heart reacts to it and they will hold it in their forever.

it’s easy to say lots of things to our children. but it takes effort to do what we say. aren’t they worthy of that?

love is better caught than taught.

you all know i love good quotes. so here are some on this subject…

“Reading to children at night, responding to their smiles with a smile, returning their vocalizations with one of your own, touching them, holding them – all of these further a child’s brain development and future potential, even in the earliest months.” –T. Berry Brazelton

“The toddler craves independence but…fears desertion.” –Dorothy Corkville Briggs

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” –James Baldwin

“If there is anything we wish to change in our children, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.” –Carl G. Jung

“My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, ‘You’re tearing up the grass.’ ‘We’re not raising grass,’ Dad would reply. ‘We’re raising boys.’” –Harmon Killebrew

20 Comments leave one →
  1. March 9, 2009 11:06 pm

    Carl Jung and James Baldwin (not related to Alec surely?) 🙂 sure got it right in their comments.

    What we communicate is important – most especially to our Kids.

    The thing to remember MOST about communication, be it with kids or anyone else is.. Communication is about 7% of what we say, about 35% of the WAY we say it and a little over 55% of what our Body language in total says to them.

    Even more importantly Communication is 100 PER CENT what THEY ‘get’ rather than what we try to ‘give’ them. It does not matter what you say nor how often you say it if your child ‘hears’ something different to what you are telling them… the only way you can be sure of what they get is by seeking their feedback and observing their behaviour very carefully.

    This takes up a fair amount of time to be done properly – until it becomes ‘second nature’ for you.

    It is worth the effort – as Tam shows.


  2. March 9, 2009 11:32 pm

    Brilliant. Thank you for your wisdom Tam.

    And there is a manual, but most of us don’t really understand how to get what we need from it. I think I catch about 1% of what I should…

  3. March 10, 2009 4:09 am

    I’m not a parent, so I won’t even pretend to have anything to add… But I’m enjoying all this wisdom. And if I ever am a parent, I’ll probably be banging down your door for advice.

  4. Heidi permalink
    March 10, 2009 5:19 am

    If you know me well I love quotes and I especially love them of women I admire.

    Mother Theresa is one of these women. She said this:

    Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush;
    anxious for greater developments and greater wishes and so on;
    so that children have very little time for their parents;
    Parents have very little time for each other;
    and the home begins the disruption of the peace of the world.
    –Mother Teresa

  5. March 10, 2009 6:00 am

    All this talk just reminds me – again – how easy life is now, and how hard it will be later. I don’t mean hard as in unpleasant. It’s just that in the day-to-day of caring for (and sometimes, just plain dealing with) a toddler, I forget that these days are fleeting and simple. And the future holds much more complicated issues than chicken nuggets or macaroni and cheese.

    Thanks – as always – for sharing your parenting advice, Tam. Or maybe not advice, but insight. Wisdom.

  6. March 10, 2009 7:49 am

    your last quote made me think of Jake’s dad. They weren’t allowed to play in the yard when they were little. 😕 They had to play in the driveway or the STREET. Seriously. 😯 I wish he had been that smart then. Now he loves for the boys to play in their grass….. some lessons take 30 years to learn.

    One thing I love that I do with the boys that is a special sort of “secret” way we show affection…. like when we are sitting across the room from each other or driving or whatever…. I wink at them and they know it means “I love you” and they wink back at me right away. It is so cute when they do it, especially when they do it first. 😉 Another thing we do is the “I love you” sign with our hands. All fingers pointing out except the two middle fingers. Dylan LOVES that one. BOth of the boys also will wink at the sky and then tell me they just told God they love Him. That absolutely melts my heart. ♥

    I can’t stop hugging and kissing the boys. Or holding their hand (which they hate!) or running my fingers through their hair when we’re on the couch. I want them to be affectionate people when they are older, I want them to know showing affection is okay, even for boys. 😉

  7. March 10, 2009 7:53 am

    Baldwin and Killebrew – great quotes. Mother Theresa up there too. So many people think that ‘government’ is responsible for this or that in society, whether for good or not. I think government strongly affects the people, but the real crux of society comes down to parents. Parents and Pastors. I think these two entities single-handedly effect society more than any other thing.

  8. March 10, 2009 8:47 am

    “You get one shot” – I disagree – i’d change that to “It takes a life time – yours.” MY children are approaching 40 – we are still active in their lives and are making input into their lives, yet – why? Because we will always be parents who care.

    Always cherish your relationships with your children – dads of teenage daughters really need to be involved – those daughters are seeing you as a future role model for their life partner – how you doing Brent? I think you are doing great, but Kass is the real evaluator.

    Tam – Kota thinks you are a very special lady – he is blessed to have you as a mom – your doing great. DON’T LET SATAN SCREW IT UP – WATCH TEMPTATION!

  9. March 10, 2009 8:50 am

    Oh yes, don’t forget Tam – I am your papa, so don’t screw it up or i’ll blister your behind! Remember, your mine for my lifetime.

  10. March 10, 2009 8:52 am

    Mandy – hope you read this – I would love more grandkids! Get started!

  11. March 10, 2009 9:48 am

    look. i don’t know what i’m doing half the time. most of us parents don’t.

    Good grief woman, what are you saying? If that gets out we’ll have even more trouble wrangling the ankle biters.

  12. March 10, 2009 10:04 am

    this made me laugh a little… remembering that my mom would only let us play in certain parts of the yard so we wouldn’t mess up the pretty snow outside her window.

    no one will ever get it right all the time, but i just remember always craving consistency … for a child, knowing that you are going to be loved when you walk in your home is a security that can’t be replaced.

  13. March 10, 2009 10:14 am

    hover – dang it! i knew i should have run this by you first! 😉

  14. March 10, 2009 10:22 am

    I have never raised children but having been one the quote by Dorothy Corkville Brigss rings true:

    “The toddler craves independence but…fears desertion.”

    Children must believe they are loved and wanted. If patents can get that one part right I think everything else, the will take care of it’s self.

  15. March 10, 2009 1:12 pm

    Great piece Tam….it is crazy how some never get to see these points in their life

  16. March 10, 2009 2:55 pm

    Boy oh boy…I’m going to be coming to you for parenting advice all of the time. Love to hear this stuff.

  17. TheNorEaster permalink
    March 10, 2009 7:09 pm

    “There is a point where our parents end and we begin.”

  18. March 10, 2009 9:25 pm

    Nor – very true. and well said, friend.

  19. March 10, 2009 9:39 pm

    Time. Yeah to slow down and play. For me it is playing cars, fighting, running and any other game my boys think up. I am pretty good at that, but you know what else is the interruptions. I read once that if you get annoyed with your kids because they are interrupting what you are doing you have forgotten what is more important. Laundry, dishes, dinner, all that stuff will be here, but if I can stop what I am doing and pay attention to that little one interrupting me I would see that all that other stuff is really the interruption.

  20. March 11, 2009 12:02 am

    i hope that someday, if i have children, i live close enough to you for you to give me daily lessons.

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