Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What do I know?

I feel terribly out of my element telling someone how to be a parent. I do not have any children (that I know of - zing!). Even if I did, I don't think I would feel entirely comfortable telling someone such business. I mean, I'll still do it.

But this is just advice, and solicited advice at that. So here's what I think:

Your child will grow up to be the type of parent that you are. To some extent you are the type of parent that your parent was to you. (Now, if you are making a conscious decision to be a different kind of parent than you had, it follows logically that your kid can do the same.) But just think about it when you are thinking about how to discipline your progeny, or when you're figuring out how to celebrate something, or when you're planning a family vacation.

Think, too, about your life experiences and the memories that you carry with you. The formative events that made you who you are. Remember these - and recognize exactly what it is that you remember - as you are making decisions that might shape your babies' future.

Memories can be simple moments, special occasions, or annual traditions.

Teach them to eat all sorts of different foods. Encourage them to play a musical instrument, to learn a foreign language and to take criticism as gracefully as compliments.

Talk to them a lot, but listen to them more.

And don't smoke.