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The Many Wonders of Parents: a Celebration of Mother & Father’s Day

The Many Wonders of Parents: a Celebration of Mother & Father’s Day

by KiKi Bochi

Upcoming Mother’s and Father’s Day means mommies and daddies will hopefully get lots of kisses, cards, and maybe even breakfast in bed — which can be lovely.

It’s great for parents to get appreciation for all the things they contribute to keep the family functioning. But besides making lunches, helping with school projects, coaching little leagues, driving the carpool and doing their share of the laundry, parents give their children many intangible gifts. Here are just a few.

Confidence. When you attend an end-of-year concert at school, cheer at a soccer game or praise a picture your child drew, you are demonstrating that you appreciate your child’s efforts. Your positive reinforcement gives him or her the confidence to take on the world.

The right to be wrong. Children who feel pressure to please their parents with perfect performance and only the highest grades may shy away from challenges that could help them grow. Teach your children to try their best, but never to be afraid to stumble. No one is perfect.

Be willing to acknowledge your own mistakes. This sends the powerful message that the key to reaching important goals is to accept that we sometimes need improvement and should keep trying. 

Problem-solving skills. Sometimes we are so busy telling or children what they need to do and how they need to do it, we forget to listen to their ideas. When you ask your children for strategies to solve issues around the house, you teach them to think creatively. It could be something as simple as asking for their input on how to put the laundry away, how to carry in the groceries, or how to get organized in the morning. Be sure to seek their opinion on how to solve bigger issues, as well.

Curiosity. You don’t have to have all the answers. Sometimes, having the questions is far more important. You demonstrate that when, as you go about your day, you ask things like, “I wonder how they do that?” or, “What would happen if…?” Observing the world and evaluating how things work are important life skills. Once your child starts to question things, take advantage of the library or Internet to help your child discover answers.

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Laughter. The connection we create when we laugh with our children is beyond measure. Laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body, strengthening your immune system, boosting energy, and reducingstress. Allow yourself to be silly. Always be willing to finding the lighter side of life. Create “inside jokes” you share with your child.

Try to find the humor in even stressful situations. Whether it is a giggle of a guffaw, when you share laughter it creates intimacy and fun.

Patience. Children have a way of getting on our last nerve. How we respond teaches them a lot about how to deal with stressful situations in their own lives — now and in the future. When you feel like you are ready to blow, walk away. Tell your child, “I need a minute.” This models self-control, sets up healthy boundaries and teaches your child there’s no payoff in pushing your buttons. Now take some deep breaths.

None of us is perfect, but on this long road that is parenthood, we should seek moments of inner peace. Besides, our kids are watching.

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