Tuesday, October 26, 2010

100th Post! Parenting

As I logged in to type up this blog, I noticed that it would be #100. So... Woo Hoo! Kinda neat, eh? Now back to the good stuff...

I've been getting ready to present a short seminar on Co-parenting after divorce and I ran across some interesting resources on the net. The most useful one was this site: The Parent Coach Plan. It had good information and some great free resources.

I've been working with a program at a non-profit company that does preventative and crisis intervention counseling with at-risk families for about a year now and I've experienced all sorts of interesting family configurations. It seems like the "traditional family" of Dad, Mom, 2.5 kids and a dog is not only rare nowadays, but is virtually non-existent. More often, I'm working with grandparents raising grandkids, single moms or dads with or without stepkids, a sister who raised her half and step siblings and then found out that she had another brother in foster care who she found and adopted and is raising all while she is trying to start a career, military blended families who are not only dealing with family issues but reverse culture shock as they come back to their home country... 'family' is a very loose term for the people with whom you are in close relationship. Anyhow, I'm processing lots of great information about parents leading me to ask some questions like:

How does one learn to be a good parent? It is not like kids come with a manual, and we all know the jokes about how there is no licensing test to be able to have kids (although there is one to have foster kids...) We pick up from our parents either lessons on how to be a loving, caring parent or lessons on what *we will NEVER do to our own kids*, am I right? :) Sometimes our best examples of parenting aren't found in our own families of origin, but in others that we perceive to 'have it all together'. I'm sure that culture influences us to some extent as well.

What does a good parent look like? What qualities do we strive for as parents? Patience is a key virtue here as well as consistency. Listening skills are important as are general communication skills: say what you mean, be brief, be clear. The ability to create and foster safety and security for our children is important.

Anyhow, one of the resources on the aforementioned website follows this paragraph. I thought it was an interesting exercise and I encourage any parents that read this to fill in the blanks and discover what they can about their own parenting proficiency. Enjoy!

(seeing as I have three children, I'll focus on just my oldest, for brevity's sake)

I AM A ___________________ PARENT.

I am a great parent. I really believe this and don't doubt it. Well, hardly ever. I recognize that there are times when I make decisions that are selfish or self serving, but so far, they have been of little consequence. I feel that I generally try to do the best I can for my children and I feel good about my efforts.


I need to become a more present parent. I feel like I don't get to spend enough time with my family. At this point in my career, I'm working many long hours (hey, it is almost 2am now!) trying to get to a point where I don't have to work so hard... pause for irony... Anyhow, I feel that sometimes I've been under pressure (real or imagined) to take on too much responsibility and I miss my family and I know they miss me.


My child thinks I am a loving parent. Not a day goes by that I don't tell my children how loved they are, by me, by mommy, by God. We have some rituals about telling and showing our love for each other including singing, hugging and kissing regularly.

I WISH MY CHILD WOULD STOP ________________.

I wish my child would stop ... I can't think of anything at the moment. All of the minor annoyances, small disobediences, grumpy mornings... in the grand scheme of things, they don't matter very much and I'm certain they will pass with time as she grows and develops. Even the emotional growing pains that she is undergoing are a marvel to watch and learn from her reactions and feelings about the situation.


I wish my child would start being more aware of her influence and how she is influenced by others. It won't bother me if she isn't a 'leader' per se, but I want her to be comfortable with herself and her own decisions to the point that she doesn't feel the pressure to follow the rash decisions of her peers.

I HOPE MY CHILD NEVER _________________.

I hope my child never stops growing or learning. If I can help her be a life long learner... about her environment, about her spirituality, about herself, I think I will have done a good job as a parent.


I need to give my child more love. I believe that she spells it: T-I-M-E.


... if she were to take more ownership for her feelings, but I'd put her in the top 90% of kids her age in her ability to manage her emotions.

MY CHILD'S FRIENDS ARE _________________________.

My child's friends are remarkable. I believe that, as parents, we have cultivated relationships with families who are also remarkable in their values and devotion to God and each other. Modeling good friendships in the parent's lives is important for our children to see. I feel that my child has chosen her friends well and really enjoys those relationships.

MY CHILD MAKES ME PROUD WHEN _________________.

I am proud of my child when she shows good judgment, when she chooses kindness, when she displays a gentleness of spirit, when she uses her wit to make me laugh, when she picks the right thing over the easy thing... I could go on for a long time with this answer...

MY CHILD DISAPPOINTS ME WHEN ___________________.

Really, my biggest disappointments with my child are when my expectations are out of proportion with her development. Meaning that my disappointment with her is usually born from my own failings, not hers.

MY CHILD'S MOOD IS TYPICALLY _____________________.

Cheerful and curious.


Playful and exuberant.

MY CHILD LIKES TO _______________________________.

learn. To read. To ride horses. To spend time with friends. To cuddle. To collect almost anything. To sing. To joke around.... etc, etc...

MY CHILD HATES TO _______________________________.

She hates to stop having fun.

I WANT TO TEACH MY CHILD TO ___________________.

Care for herself so that she can make the most of the opportunities God sets before her.


I believe I provide a healthy environment for my child: spiritually, emotionally, physically. There is room to grow and the safety to explore her environment.

MY DISCIPLINE IS _______________________________.

slanted heavily toward helping my child take responsibility for her feelings and behavior.

OUR FAMILY IS ______________________________.

Our family is connected, flexible and strong.


grow to own the faith that we have planted in her.


Be a great parent to my grandchildren.

If you repost this survey, please link me or let me know. I'd love to see what others come up with. God bless you!


1 comment:

Nicole said...

I love you, Fairy. I'm proud you posted this. I hope it changes somebody's life around. Very touching in it's own way. (: