So, as Mother’s Day approaches, I asked my daughter today to name two things that I did right in raising her and two things that I did wrong. The first thing that she told me that I did right was that I never gave her a bedtime. The second thing that she said that I did right is that I let her ditch school sometimes. Okay, so far so good. Then she told me that what I did wrong was that I was too overprotetive. “Okay, what else?” I asked. She replied, “Nothing. But that one encompasses a lot.” So, based on her answers I’m going to assume that I am a fabulous parent because my child could only name one thing that I did wrong in the past 18 years. I started to think about it today… How did I raise Grace? Not to toot my own horn, but I have to kind of hand it to myself… Grace is a wonderful person. She is kind, sensitive, minds her own business, is a great student, funny and very wise. She has only been in trouble once in her 18 years. I mean that literally. She has only been grounded once and that was when she was 16. She thought it was okay to have dinner with her friend, MK, in New York City in Times Square at 11 o’clock at night with no parental supervision. When I found out where she was, I ran out of my apartment barefoot, jumped into a cab and found the two idiots having dinner by themselves at a hot dog shop. I thought my head was going to explode. Grace was terrified. I dragged the two girls back into a taxi, took them back to the apartment, screamed at them for about eight hours and grounded Grace for two weeks. But, Grace had never been in trouble before and has never been in trouble since. So, again, I started to think about it today. What did I do to nurture this little person into the person she is today. So, I thought I would tell you. You’re welcome for my opinion that you didn’t ask for.
Let them build a tent. It’s their refuge
Encourage them to keep a journal.
Cherish their artwork like it’s a Picasso.
Show them compassion and they will learn compassion.
Teach them that everyones religion should be respected. Except maybe not those who support a jihad.
Read to them every night before bed and make sure you are reading them the right books like these.
Give them toys that don’t discriminate.
No spanking. If you spank your child, it indicates that you are a moron and you do not know how to use your words. You should also probably go to jail.
“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”
Grow a garden with your child. A secret garden or a vegetable garden. It teaches them how to nurture and how to have patience
Make their rooms awesome.
Emphasize the importance of sports but not stupid sports like football which causes brain damage.
Remind your children that they are lucky lucky lucky.
Laugh and laugh and laugh. This is how Grace and I get through the day with my ALS.
Travel with your children. It opens their minds and eyes to new experiences, cultures and a new landscape.
Teach your children the joys of cooking and baking. It will stay with them forever.
Good matters are as important as a good education. Always have children write thank you notes.
Family dinner and conversation. This is when you find out everything.
Expose children to every museum, exhibit and art gallery that you can find.
Obviously I’ve left out lots of lessons… financial independence, courage, friendship, etc. but you can read more in the parenting book I just decided five minutes ago to write. Stay tuned…