Monday, February 25, 2019

Things We've Done Right

Parenthood sure leaves me wondering what I'm doing a lot of the time.  Why do they fight?  Why won't they just go to sleep?  Why must there be so much arguing about seasonally appropriate clothing when it's 20 degrees outside?  So I was trying to think of things I'm sure we've done right.

1) Having a craft cabinet and a kitchen table we don't care about.  The kids all love to draw and paint and cut things out and we have encouraged it by letting them do whatever.

2) Assigning food no moral value.  There's 'the nutrition your body needs', there's 'treats are tasty but you need proteins and veggies too', there's 'try to eat a balance of different foods', but there is 0% of 'that food is bad for you' in this house.  (We often say if you ate only doughnuts you'd get sick but if you ate only carrots you'd also get sick.)

3) Letting them learn to read at their own pace.  The older kids were both super slow about it but we didn't kill their love of reading and now they're both excellent readers, so, a win!  The littlest one is only four but is learning her letters with great enthusiasm.

4) Trying really hard to teach persistence.  This has mostly taken two forms, either 'I have confidence that you can try to do this thing, and if you really can't after you try, I'll help you', or 'The way to get better at things is to start out not-so-good and keep working, so let's practice math some more.'

5) Letting the adults in the house have needs too.  Sometimes they can wait a few minutes while I go to the bathroom ALONE!  Sometimes they can get their own snacks!  It's great.

What have you done right?  Congratulate yourself!


  1. You two really are doing a good job at this parenting thing, and I'm glad you're focusing on the positive!

    I feel I have done a good job at building a trusting relationship with my two kids. C1 says to me today, "Learning to play trumpet is just not a priority for me! I play the notes well enough for the concert next week, I don't want to go to early morning band practice. I had a bloody nose 3 times last night and I'm tired." Compromise, he will practice after school today during homework time.

    The kids and parents in our house aren't perfect, but we are trying and that's all I ask.

  2. Most of my "done rights" mirror yours. Other things I've done right, as she's gotten older (7 now!!): travel with her; make sure we get back to the US often enough for her to have strong familial bonds with both sides of the family; including her in my grown-up activities (two examples of which are doing #Inktober together -- we're both so excited to do it again!; and running through my lectures with her before I give them to my students. I had to do it once on the walk to school b/c I hadn't done ANY prep the night before, and she was actually super interested in mathematical logic and the axioms of arithmetic, and has since asked me, unprompted, "what are you telling your students today, mummy?" and I'll tell her.)

    She is a good eater and sleeper, in general, and while she is still relatively resistant about reading, her teacher agrees with me on my "I'm not going to push it" stance. We had a parent-teacher meeting last night and her teacher said "I can tell she's a child who spends a lot of time around adults who talk about ideas. You can always tell the ones who do that, instead of playing video games", and it was one of the nicest comments about my child that could've been made to me. (The other was that "she shows quite an aptitude for math, so I've been pushing her limits gently". G keeps telling me "math is hard", but I keep telling her "that doesn't mean you're bad at it!")


Comments are moderated, so it may take a day or two to show up. Anonymous comments will be deleted.