I spend a lot of time, as a social worker- comparing and lining my parenting up with what would be ” best ” for my kids. I never feel like I have all the answers, but must say after 5 children I feel I have a decent idea of what works and what does not. I just don’t have a long list of tips that will work for anyone, and I question anyone who does. I am speaking of making the quality of a child’s life as great as can be.
This will be my bragging paragraph..
MY oldest son has joined the Army after getting 2 years of college under his belt, at 19. My other son is riding in professional rodeos in the southeast and is winning against adults, he is 16. He wears a ” got Jesus ” black leather riding vest. That makes him even more tough than the average cowboy, to me anyway. As for the girls, its a day like this one, with my 7 year old that I now believe is the best investment I can make in a child; a day out with just us, just getting ice cream, talking about things that 7 year olds talk about, and saying no when I am asked if we can go to Sea World today.
Saying ” No ” may seem like a downer to some, but I have learned it is sometimes the very best way to give a child some security. A feeling that they can depend on their parents to be in charge, even when it means a ” no ” answer. Especially when it means a ” no ” answer in fact!
Anyway, she calls it our ” daddy day” , I call it the greatest lesson I have learned as a parent; the notion that what children want is some time. Time to kick some stones on a walk, or smear ice cream on each other on a hot summer day. Man, how I used to think Disney was the answer and all along they just want time- and an occasional “no” answer that is.
Children want security, love and boundaries and don’t let them tell you any different.
Don’t let them down by being the ” pleasing parent ” or set them up to fail by softening every fall they take. That’s not real life, and it is not what they want.
This picture of my daughter and I was taken at the end of a ” daddy day ” as we were nearing home. I think it is clear by the looks on our faces that we had a great day. We spent about 5 bucks and several hours of time shooting the breeze, nothing special but very meaningful.