Time flies, and I've asked it to, as I remember every passing moment with the children fondly I both eagerly anticipate the future, as well as regret the passage of the present, but only because every precious moment with my children seem to drift away too fast.
The New York Times has an article about 36 questions to fall in love. I'm counting down 52. (I need the extra 16). This week I'm on question Number 43.
If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
Kind of a hard hitting question, my parents read this, and I cannot imagine a more incredible childhood than the way I had. Both because it shaped me to be who I am today, but because the factors that went into that are more complicated than any thousand upon thousand of combinations could have come up with. (The recipe of an adult is extremely simple, just add time, and extremely complicated, add difficulty, add environment, add ice, snow, winter, and heart.)
My Mother, and Father are both youngest children from their respective homes. This shaped them in many ways, and as a second born of five I have had a chance to change my youngest brother's diaper. I had a chance to watch the way my parents parenting style changed over the years, I was blessed to have influential moments with my parents that I wouldn't trade for the world… and I have had the chance to make mistakes. It's these mistakes that help form us into the parents we are.
From my mistakes I have learned ways that I raise my children differently than how I was raised, and it's possible that if done differently, my life could have gone in a different direction. (But that's debatable.)
- Bed Times – I make sure that at bed time the kids get tucked in by me… but only after each get 5 minutes alone to talk about what impressed them about the day… their favorite parts, and maybe some lessons of warning depending on what's going on at school or in their life.
- Every night Family Home Evening – Family Home Evening, in the LDS Church is one night a week where a spiritual lesson is taught in the home… early on when I saw that I was headed towards a divorce I began teaching the children every night, instead of just once a week. They responded incredibly well, and having started it so young, it's something that doesn't feel 'weird' to them now that they are a little bit older. I'm not sure if it would have made a difference with me, my home was a home of music and prayer, but I know that for my children it has made a huge difference.
- Over-Cautious. – This one is very debatable. I think that, on one hand, given the child freedom to make mistakes and grow is important… but I can't do it to the same degree with my children. The big difference is that as I was growing everything was new, technology was new, the internet was new, people were new. There were dangers out there that I slipped and fell into because no one knew. So now, as I raise the kids, instead of letting them run forward on their own, we take on each new challenge in this super "G-Force" team, discussing it, talking about what's right and wrong and ways to avoid the traps… and why it's a trap, or not. I'd say I am over-cautious… and I'm not sure it's as 'over-cautious' as it is "justifiably-cautious".
Once again, I'm completely satisfied with my level of care… but if I were to find something to change, it'd be that. (OR, we'd do everything exactly the same, but only do it on a moon base! Or in deep space orbit! How cool would that be?!