Great Parenting Moments

A few days ago I was talking with a man about his mother. He was reflecting on his childhood because he and his wife had just brought home their first child.
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Last Updated
April 22, 2019
posted on
November 9, 2011
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2
Minute Read

Several days ago I was chatting with a young man about his mother. He was reflecting on his childhood because he and his wife had just brought home their first child. As we chatted, he talked about many things that his parents did which changed the course of his life. As a nosy sort, I asked him what some of those things were.

Several days ago I was chatting with a young man about his mother. He was reflecting on his childhood because he and his wife had just brought home their first child. As we chatted, he talked about many things that his parents did which changed the course of his life. As a nosy sort, I asked him what some of those things were.

“First,” he said, “my mother was insistent that each of us kids spent a lot of time outdoors. I remember that we would be watching television and she would grab the channel changer from our hands, click the television off and make us go outside. It didn’t matter whether it was 90 degrees or 10 degrees. Out we went.  Other kids got to watch their favorite shows and I felt cheated because I couldn’t watch mine. But now, as a policeman, I am so glad that she made us get outside.”

“Was your mother overbearing?” I wondered.

“Absolutely not!” he responded, sounding offended. “I think that we might have been upset more, but she had a fun-loving manner about her. Usually, when she’d send us outside, she’d go with us. She’d take us to the beach or we’d go pick berries. This doesn’t sound hard, but I had a younger sister who had severe cerebral palsy. So, when my mother made us go outside, often that meant packing up my sister’s wheelchair, loading it into the car and taking along any medications she might need. When we saw what my mother was willing to do to in order to create fun for us, no one ever complained. Even at very young ages, the focus of our daily activities was always about doing things together. I want to be sure to give that to my daughter.”

As an experienced policeman, this young man continued to tell me that he believed that his mother’s insistence on the family doing things together outside the home kept him and his siblings out of trouble. Each of them grew up with a strong sense of family and, even as kids, they understood that this was all because of the efforts of his mother.

Raising great kids is tough. It takes tremendous physical, mental and emotional energy.

We can’t forget that none of the energy that we put into our kids is ever wasted and during those times when we think we’re ready to collapse, remember, our efforts change the course of our children’s lives.

Dr. Meg Meeker, MD

Practicing pediatrician, parent, grandparent, coach, speaker, and author. Say hello @MegMeekerMD

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