What I Love About Other People’s Parenting

I love a parent who lets a child take five minutes to tell a story that has no point other than the child wants that parent’s attention for five minutes.   And at the end of that five minutes the parent hugs the child and says “thank you for sharing that with me”.   Not really knowing what that child said.   But knowing what that child needed.

I love a parent who in a panic doesn’t want to give a truthful answer to one of “those” questions but gets down on one knee and does their best to do that parental duty.  Tell the truth.  Explain something you thought you had three more years before facing.   And after explaining the parent says “do you understand” and the child says no and doesn’t really care anyway.   I love that parent and know they fully earned that moment of pure relief at the end of that conversation.

I adore a parent who has no idea what they are doing in most situations.   But they face every situation they can with the determination to figure it out.

I admire a parent who says “honey I don’t know, let’s find out together”.

I am in awe of a parent who says “sweetheart, I am so sorry I was wrong.   I’m not always going to be right.  And when I’m not right and I figure that out, I’ll tell you the truth.”

I love parents who sing with their children.   Or listen intently as their child sings the same song for the 1,453rd time that day.

But I also admire the parent who can look at the child after the 1,454th time and say “honey, I think you wore that song out!  Let’s give another song a chance.”    And encourages trying new things.

I cheer parents who teach their children tolerance.  And patience.  And understanding.   And that not everyone is the same.  But being different isn’t bad.   And being different isn’t wrong.

I love a parent who says “you can tell me anything and I will do my best to help you” and they truly mean it and live it.

I love a parent who realizes they can’t ‘fix’ everything.   But they will protect with everything they have.

I love a parent who has the courage to let their child grow in to their own person.

I love a parent who looks forward to and enjoys quality time with their child.

My heart breaks for parents who are sad when school starts and summer break ends.

I love a parent who wants the best for their child while wanting their child to be the best they can be.

I admire a parent who doesn’t expect their child to learn morals, ethics and values outside of the home because they are taught and insisted upon inside the home.    And then they expect their child to live these outside of the home.

I still learn from parents who teach their child by example.   Knowing these good examples do not apply to children only.

I have faith in parents who teach their children to do their best.  To do what’s right.  And that these things matter even if no one else is able to see.

I feel, deeply, the pains parents suffer when they see things not fair to their child and they have to teach their child about unfairness in life.

I admire the parent who helps build a child’s character so that the unfairness in life situations are made easier by the behavior of their child.

I love a parent who does their very best at parenting and when they need it, they ask for help.  Because parenting isn’t a science and loving your child isn’t always enough to know the answer.  Seeking help is admirable.

I love a parent who is determined to love, guide, and parent.

50 thoughts on “What I Love About Other People’s Parenting

  1. I love how you wrote this! Your wisdom and insight shines through without being preachy. Us parents with young ones really need these gentle reminders. I myself especially with your first statement. With kids who have some many “5 minute stories” throughout the day about what I consider silly things I constantly have to remind myself to take a deep breath and put on my listening ears even though a million dirty dishes are beckoning me!

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    • I still get those stories and my kids are in their twenties! 🙂 But I wouldn’t wish them away for anything.

      And haven’t we all learned those dishes will sit there forever to wait. The kids don’t. 😉

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  2. Awesome…..!
    Where did you say the parent guide book was sold? You know, the one with all of the answers, the one that assures your child will be happy forever and the one that assures parents cannot make mistakes …. Yeah, that one.
    Thanks for all your help and great blogs!

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  3. I love the parent that says, “I don’t know let’s find out together.” This one really struck me. Parents need to show their children they are full of frailties too. That they aren’t perfect. This approach will lesson the blow of reality as our children get older. Lovely post, Colleen!

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    • Thank you Anka. And maybe by saying we don’t “know” something we can remove the appearance of frailties. Nothing wrong with not knowing as much as there is in an unwillingness to admit that we don’t know everything. We, I should say “I”, have felt like I am supposed to know things, when I don’t I feel embarrassed. Why feel embarrassed? Let’s just find out! 🙂

      Thank you Anka! Great lesson for us all.

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  4. I need to print this out and tape it to my mirror so when I’m having an “I don’t know what the heck I’m doing moment”, I can read this and remind myself of the parent I want to be. Thank you.

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    • You’re welcome Wonderhunters (love this name!). I wish I had told myself these things many years ago. Some of them I did. But it’s fascinating to be watching the wonderful parenting going on around me and still be learning from it.

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  5. Something I notice while living in UK and on Ireland was the way parents was talking to their children – screaming and shouting, dragging them in arms – they treated their pets better than their kids. Sure it happens here in Sweden too … but to the extent as they do over there, and they do it everywhere. Instead of sitting down, get to the kids level and talk to them.
    I have friends in France and I admired their way of parenting – and also now have the most wonderful teenagers, that also have their moments – but never a raising of the voice .. has happen in their family. Wonderful.

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    • I always appreciate seeing a parent speak to a child to teach and guide, to take the time to explain. I can’t say I never yelled at my kids. But I did try to explain. WAY too much because they would start to glaze over in the eyes and wish they had not done whatever it was to have me go on babbling even more. 😉

      I have so many younger (than me) parents around me. I’m inspired by their parenting. But I also work in a protective services field and see many many things that are painful to consider going on in children’s (and adult’s) lives.

      Maybe seeing the opposites ends of both spectrums is what prompts these thoughts in me.

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  6. I love this post! I have 3 boys (2, 5, &6) that test me more times than I can count in a day. I do the best I can, but I think now if I look back on this post I can do just a little better for them and myself everyday! Thank you for your kind amazing words today! I look forward to my challenge just a little more today! ~I LOVE MY BOYS~

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    • YAY! I’m glad you got something positive from my post. That makes ME feel good. What a great cycle this is. Here’s to a ;day full of happy challenge with your little fellas! 🙂 Thank you for sharing that.

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  7. Thank you for this! I can only hope that my kids will look back one day and see that I tried my hardest to do these things. To listen to all those songs and be able to sing along. To encourage those little five minute stories. To know that they can admit to not knowing everything because their mom can admit to it. To be able to say they were wrong because their mom says it. To be able to appologize because thier mom does when she need to. To love others for who they are because their mom always loved their differences. That is the parent that I want to be and once again I thank you for this reminder!

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  8. I just love that this post is about parenting period. What a lovely read and how much we can learn from each other. So great to see so many parents want the best for the children from what we can give and teach !

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    • In writing this I tried to be honest in my personal reflections. I believe I did many of these things. Not knowing them even. And I believe I messed up many times, that I was fortunate to correct, or not leave lasting damage!

      None of us got it 100% right. Oh man, if someone else did I don’t even want to compare to that! 🙂

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  9. This is great, Colleen – each and every point. I love the 5 minutes of attention the best though, I remember some moments like that.

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