Monday, May 04, 2009
Today I realized that good parenting requires a fertile imagination. It's so easy to be bogged down with the challenges of everyday life, especially for single parents, and especially in today's economy.
Yesterday, for example, I kept asking The Child all day long what he'd like to do. I was hoping for the art museum, zoo or science museum. He had other ideas- he wanted to spend the day on the computer. I had things to do, so I waited. And waited.
Finally sometime late in the afternoon he that he wanted to go to Cinnabon for a cinnamon roll. By this time, I was tired, hungry, frustrated and upset about something that was going on at work. I drove him across town to Cinnabon, griping the whole way. By the time we arrived, he was miserable and I was guilty.
I tried to apologize and smooth things over, explaining the things that were bothering me so that he'd know it wasn't about him. I asked if he wanted to go anywhere else, but he just wanted to return home.
This morning he cried before we left for his school bus stop. He strongly dislikes school, and didn't want to go. I tried to be on my best behavior, asking if there was anything I could do to brighten his morning- short of letting him stay home, that is.
When I returned home after his bus roared off, I sat on the patio feeding peanuts to the squirrels and chipmunks. I wished The Child could have been there with me, because I wanted to talk to him about the reason I do this.
Then something very rare happened: I had a good idea. I ran into the house to get a pen and paper, and I wrote The Child a letter, saying what I would have said had he been there.
This accomplished two things: I communicated my beliefs to him, and I provided him with a writing example. Although The Child is an excellent reader, he has never really enjoyed writing- a common problem among boys.
I am curious about any parenting breakthroughs or pearls of wisdom you all may have to offer- on any aspect of parenting at all- not related specifically to the incident described here. I just want to hear about any examples you have of parenting successes! Those of you who don't have a child are invited to weigh in- you certainly don't have to be a parent to have parenting ideas or theories.
Posted by B.S. at Monday, May 04, 2009