A Few Thoughts on Being a Parent
Let’s face it friends. Being a parent and having the responsibility of raising kids is no easy job.
Just think for a moment: First there are the babies. They wail, shout and cry and unquestionably let you know when they are unhappy little campers. And it’s the parent’s job to figure out what ails the little tyke. What in blue blazes does this wailing, raging infant for whom I am responsible for its health, safety, and well being want?? Do you want to be fed? Or changed? Or held? Or put down? Sleep? Burp????? Don’t you wish that they could tell you what is wrong?
Well! Wait until they are two or three years old and they do start telling you what is wrong and what they want. And three year olds know what they want and how to get it!!! The word “NO!” from the mouth of a determined three-year-old has stopped many a grown adult in his/her tracks.
A few years later when things start settling down a bit for the parent, the child trots off to school, and after a day or two of traumatic separation, the situation changes. The school age child seems to be more concerned about what their schoolmates think and do than they are influenced by the wishes and concerns of their “old” parents.
And by the time they get to the teens they are flying off at the speed of light doing their own things and thinking their own thoughts—and woe to the adult person/parent who gets in the way and tries to stop the raging torrents of hormones and independently minded teenage wills.
Raising kids is no easy job. But I’ve learned a lot about being a parent in the last thirty-seven years. I did get some help from college professors, counselors, caseworkers, and consultants and by reading “how-to” books (I must admit that Dr. Spock was a great help in the early days).
My real teachers, however, were my three sons. Yes, my children taught me most of what I know about being a parent. I only wish that I would have known the lessons they were trying to teach me when they (and I) were younger. So, in the next page or so, I will share with you some of the important lessons I learned from my teacher/sons.
Reprinted with the permission of the NFPA. © 2008 by NFPA. All Rights Reserved.
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