I had great parents but didn’t realize this until around age 25. They’ve become more impressive to me with each passing year. What made them great parents? I’d like to list a few things that stand out to me.
They were there… My parents made an effort to attend performances and sporting events I was involved in. More importantly, they were there emotionally at home. We had conversations and they let me know that I was an important part of the family….not the center of attention….not the center of their universe, but an important part of the family.
They had expectations of me. They gave me jobs around the house and expected them to be done. They expected me to do well in school. They expected me to work and earn a living. They expected me to respect others. The list goes on but you get the idea.
My parents treated each other with respect. They may have gotten a little cross or edgy on rare occasions but always in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
My parents loved me unconditionally but also let me experience negative consequences. They never cared less about me because I made a mistake but they did require that I face the consequences of my actions. Consequences could be unpleasant but I knew they loved me no matter what.
Parenting is a difficult task! My parents have often said they weren’t perfect but I don’t think perfection is required. Giving yourself to the job of parenting and doing the best you can each day is the key.
As an educator, I’m thankful that parents are willing to trust us with their most precious possessions, their children. Children will someday recognize the good work their parents and teachers do and we will have the satisfaction of seeing their continued growth and learning.