Monday, October 18, 2010

Being a parent

Being a good parent isn't an easy job, but it is a necessary job so that our world will have decent people in generations to come.

I wasn't a perfect parent, just as I'm not a perfect person, but I tired to do the best job I could. I loved and love my children unconditionally. I did my best to show them right from wrong, not just tell them. I hoped to instill good morals and a good work ethic in them. I stressed the importance of being honest and of being educated, of learning.

Did I succeed? I can only hope I did, but none of my children has been in trouble with the law. They all work hard and continue to learn. They don't believe the world owes them anything except an equal chance to be what they are willing to be. If they needed help, they accepted it. However, as soon as the help wasn't needed, they made their way again. In fact, sometimes they won't ask for help no matter how much they need it. I don't know where they got that streak of independence, maybe even stubbornness. (heheheh)

I never misused drugs around my children, or at any time. I didn't smoke or drink -- not only did I not want to have to worry about stopping (we are of Native American ancestry), but I wanted to be a good example. I hope I was.

Did I make mistakes? Of course I did. I suffered from RA and Lupus, which caused extreme exhaustion all the time. I couldn't make it to some of their activities, even though I wanted to. At least when the kids were in high school, we could attend many out of town games because we rode the pep bus as chaperons. However, the school never took a pep bus to band competitions. One night, my daughter appeared in a concert at college. By the time I finished the school day and arrived home, I had thirty minutes to dress and drive across Oklahoma City. I took the easy way out: I stayed home. With what I know now, I would have gone anyway. I would have worried about the exhaustion later.

At times, I made the wrong decision, but never because I didn't care, usually because I didn't have all the facts or didn't take time to find out all the details. I sometimes may have been too hard, but it was because I did care and wanted the best for my children.

I see parents abdicating their responsibilities all the time, and I don't understand. Children, then grandchildren, and finally great-grandchildren are gifts to be treasured, not thrown away. Parents don't want to hear their children aren't doing well in school, not because they want to help, but because they want to blame. Heaven help the person who dares suggest the parent hold the child responsible, or that the parent should take action to solve the problem. No, someone else is to blame. Ish.

I'm not perfect, nor are my children, but they are productive members of society (unless they have failed to let me know something). I hope they in turn are molding the next generation of good people.


Susanne Drazic said...

Thank you for sharing this, Vivian. I've felt pangs of guilt when I'm missed something because of my health issues. I've tried to be the best mom I could be. I think my son has turned out to be a pretty great young man.

Rena said...

Great post, Vivian. It's always easier to look back, isn't it? Sometimes things just aren't as clear when they're right in front of you. From what you've told me about your children, you've done a great job with them.

Kimchi said...

Great post, Viv. I keep hearing about parents abdicating responsibility for their children's school, but haven't seen it so far. I suppose it becomes more apparent in the higher grades, when the kids start falling behind. Much to think about.

Janet Glaser said...

I believe that kids learn by example. Your actions as their role model teach children their values more than any lectures. It sounds as if you have been a good role model...even being stubborn at times helps us get through the difficult times.