Today I stumbled on a video about how to be a good parent. It hit home for sure. We work so hard to try and give our children everything. This video stressed how it’s not what we give our children thing wise, but rather what we give of ourselves to our children. “Just Be Present”. These words struck me hard. Parenting is hard for sure. But this video really helped set things in perspective.
I admit even I try and give the coolest birthday gift. Throw the best party. Be the funnest mom. But in the end, that is not what we remember of our parents is it?
Honestly I rarely remember anything given to me as a gift by my parents. What I do remember is travelling with my Dad for work. the silly jokes, the corny singing, the bad music occasionally. I can remember the smell of his car. The apolostery mixed with his cologne.
I remember my mother teaching me to cook. Her crying when her pie crust didn’t work out again, because all she wanted was to show me how to make the perfect pie. Not understanding that what mattered most was the two hours we spent together mixing and laughing and then failing together.
I cannot really tell you any present, or thing that was given to me. However, I remember my parents working long hours to try to create the perfect life for me. I do remember a few larger trips we took. Not because of where we went, but for the journey of getting there.
When I was 9 my parents took me to Disney World. Huge right?! What I remember most is the road trip there. We stopped at small motels and checked out smaller touristy things on the way to Florida. I fondly remember to listening to the cassette tapes of the Batman (yup the very first movie) soundtrack and Good Morning Vietnam. One of my parents favourite comedians was Robin Williams. My dad could re-enact that tape almost as good as Mr Williams himself.
I remember movie nights, trying the FIRST Nintendo, ice cream dates, watching my dad work on our bus he converted into a mobile home with great interest. My mother caring for her finch’s, knitting with such ease and perfection.
This video really got me thinking that perhaps as parents we need to step back and really get back to basics. Scale down what we do for our children and do more with our children. We just need to be present and be there. I learned many valuable skills from these what seemed mundane, experiences with my parents. If these are what our children are going to remember most, should we not make them count?!
I challenge all of you now to turn off the screens, put back that popular toy, stop doing everything for your children and really LIVE with them. Because the most important thing is that we set a truly great example of what we want them to end up like. I know for myself I want my children to be independent, strong, kind, funny, ambitious and beautiful creatures inside and out.
So join me! Share your experiences below because we all want to hear them!
Below is the initial video that got me thinking check it out!
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