Six Children and No Theories

Covering parenting and child development issues

What're You Doing New Year's Eve?

Written by Lisa Lawmaster Hess, Community Blogger | Dec 29, 2013 8:24 PM

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  (Mark Twain)

Over the past few weeks, life has handed me some challenges. Though these things were neither life-threatening or earth-shattering, they were of great significance to me. In addition, they required me to assess my beliefs, my values and the direction I wanted to take.

There were many angles to consider, many potential consequences to forecast. There were many emotions to manage, most of which seeped out into the fabric of our family life. Over Christmas vacation.

And all the while, I was profoundly aware that I was setting an example for my teenage daughter. 

What did I want to teach her? 

That people will sometimes run roughshod over you, but you don't have to lie down and accept it.

That it's important to stand up for yourself and your beliefs.

That fear is inevitable, but doesn't have to be crippling. 

That it's important to compromise, but it's also important to be your own advocate.

I wish I could say that I accomplished all of the above, and did so with tremendous grace and poise, but the truth is, I'm human, so I didn't. Sometimes there was grace. Sometimes there was poise. Sometimes, there was neither. One night, there was only lying under a blanket feeling sorry for myself and watching sitcoms.

But that was just one night. And she wasn't home for most of it.

Our kids watch us. Always. They may not pick up their clothes and toys, but they pick up signals we don't even know we're sending. 

They hear things. No matter how softly we speak, or what room of the house we think they are in, they hear things we don't want them to hear. 

And they draw conclusions. Sometimes, they draw conclusions that are contrary to the things we tell them. They do as we say, not as we do -- and vice versa.

So, as this year draws to a close, I will renew my determination to do and say things I want my daughter to model -- things that make me both proud of her and of the example I have set for her. 

Wishing you and  your family a happy, healthy new year filled with blessings and good examples. Thanks for reading.

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