Parents: Be proud

Photo by Joshua Wagner
Miranda Parman - Photo by Mike Haynes

Young parents can seem to take their children for granted

Opinion By Miranda Parman

A side-eye glance from behind a sippy cup. A gentle arch of the eyebrows that accompanies an honest question. Retellings of events that are dramatic and glorious, even though it was just a trip to the park or supermarket. The steady stream of “whys” that feels so good to answer, getting through them all is a feat of epic proportions.

Children are so important, yet so many young parents seem to cast this luxury aside. When parents are young themselves, it would be so easy to disregard the role of parents in favor of being young and fun.

It is in no way fair to the child. The little one did not ask to be born, but it was, just the same.

Young parents should look for new ways to be fun and supportive of their child. Take walks through the park or get a baby seat for the bike and take rides.

Children who get good exercise are more confident and outgoing, and it also helps to wear them out so they sleep better at night.Simply having a conversation with a small one helps build language connections in their brain, helping them develop words better.

It may seem funny having a conversation with a 1-year-old who can’t answer, but chatting to them helps them learn how to talk more quickly and more clearly. It also prepares children for social situations.

If a kid is used to having talks or conversations at home, he or she won’t be scared to share in class or on the playground. When the old ladies at the mall stop them and ask questions, they won’t be too freaked out, because they talk to grownups all the time at home. Head out on a hunt to find leaves and glue them to something; maybe even get really wild and use glitter.

Showing a kid how to make something or explore something new is fantastic. Add on the fact that it is helping show them that they can make beautiful things and that they can be good at it.

Letting children try new things shows them the beauty in the often sad world we live in. Parents’ belief in this beauty often is renewed as well. Frame a drawing and hang it next to a picture of the child.

Take pride in the child you produced. Take pride in the things he or she creates.

Both of you have done such a good job at making something great.

Attention to kids should be celebrated. Children should know they are important and loved. Their artwork on the walls is a great way to display the fact that they are useful. If nothing else, they provide color pops in mom’s decorating.

Starbucks and Roasters both have kids’ drinks. Go read the newspaper together or get really fun, illustrated books from the library and read together at the coffee shop.

Kids get jazzed about doing “grownup” stuff. Make a Sunday afternoon into a beautiful memory – by both helping your children become more literate and by paying attention to them.

Be there, be present and raise kids in ways previous parents never thought to. Love the child you took the time to make.


Originally published: Friday, September 16, 2011

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