This I Believe

Robert - Green Bay, Wisconsin
Entered on August 28, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe that being a good parent means being involved with your kids and treating things with a touch of humor. You don’t have to spend every minute of your free time (If you do you’ll go nuts) , but time is what the children need. I love to spend time laughing with my kids. We play and wrestle and talk. I know it is remembered well by them because of what my wife overheard the other night. My 3-year-old son was fast asleep …… and giggling out loud as if we were having one of our “got your nose” sessions. It brought a smile to her face and to mine when she told me. My wife and I have 4 kids between us and a few great stories for each one.

This comes to mind because the things I remember most were the little things my parents did with me. Mom and I made macramé decorations. My sister and I got to bake and do cross-stitch and puzzles and games with my parents. I remember my dad helping me to build a wooden go-kart that Santa brought me one year. I learned so much about how to do things and deal with stresses in life from my dad because of things we did together. What’s funny is that he was convinced I never listened to a word he said.

One thing that taught me the most was this. One day I found a few Playboy magazines in with dad’s other magazines. Keep in mind, they were not hidden, just not out in plain view. I sat and looked at them with awe not hearing dad come home from work and walk up behind me. I about jumped out of my skin when I heard “See anything you like, son?” I just knew I was dead. The point is, he did not punish me, mom and he teased me a bit and laughed with me about jumping so high, but the point was made that I shouldn’t be into that without having to ground me or anything like that. I stayed away from that part of the cabinet for awhile!

Treat your kids with humor. Teach them a sense of responsibility and share your beliefs with them. They will seem as if it is the last thing they want, but it lasts in their hearts and minds. It lasted in mine and I intend for my kids to grow-up able to laugh at themselves.