My blogging friend, Shannon at Dirtnkids.wordpress.com, recently reached out to me and let me know how much she liked this post. I originally posted it last year. Thank you, Shannon. Here it is again.
10 Tips for Parents of Young Children
Your children will thank you later.
Dear Mom and Dad,
Although I may not be able to verbalize my feelings just yet, and may not even know what it is that I really want and need from you at this young age, I am going to tell you what I will say to you when I am all grown up.
I will say:
Thank you for being my parent rather than my friend. I didn’t want to know all about your adult problems. When I was young, I needed you there for me and not the other way around. Thank you for leaning on your friends for support and not me. Thank you for being the adult and allowing me to be a child. Now that I am an adult, we can be friends.
Thank you for providing me with structure and discipline and for holding me accountable for my actions. It has helped make me the responsible person that I am today.
Thank you for always believing in me. Because you believed in me, I now believe in myself.
Thank you for spending quality time with me. The time we spent together was better than any monetary gift you could have ever given me.
Thank you for giving me positive attention. I now know that children want attention from their parents more than anything else in the world. Children that do not receive positive attention act up in order to get negative attention. Believe it or not, a child will opt for a parent’s yelling and screaming over no attention at all. Thank you for making me feel important in your world.
Thank you for allowing me to get mad at you. I will never forget the time that I told you that I did not like you and that I wanted to run away. You did not get angry. You simply replied, “I really hope that you don’t leave. I love you and would miss you terribly.” Although I was still mad at you, I felt really loved. By doing that, you taught me how to express my anger without reacting to it.
Thank you for helping me with my homework and being involved in my school. I never doubted the importance of school or how much you cared about my present and future well-being.
Thank you for recognizing my unique strengths and talents. You always saw me as my own special person different from yourself. Thank you for appreciating my individuality.
Thank you for taking the time to listen to my opinions, even when you disagreed. You taught me that what I had to say was important.
Thank you for living with integrity. You didn’t just tell me to be honest, you modeled it. Thank you.