My childhood, fortunately filled with more good than bad, has prepared me for what I am now and what I will become. Who do I look to for advice? Who do I ask when I need something? The answer is always my parents. Unfortunately, many individuals never come to realize the importance of their parents. Punishment we needed in childhood. It was weird, my brother and I could never get along. First, he hits me, then I hit him and it goes on and on. This would always result in me in my room for at least half an hour. As I now look back, a half an hour timeout is nothing, but it has shown me right from wrong.
My parents always knew what to do when something would happen. Whether it was me or my brother getting hurt or us fighting. Our parents would always correct us or help us out. As I look back now, I never thanked them for the endless support they have given me. I owe them so much and I can only dream of repaying them.
The lessons learned in my childhood can be easily classified as; what to do, and what not to do. The worst, “what not to do” occurred when I was only three. I had my mind set on shoveling the whole driveway before my dad got home. With my little plastic shovel, I worked for five minutes cleaning up about two square feet and my dad arrived. He took out the snowblower and finished the job. Completely exhausted, I lay my hand on the exhaust of the snow blower that was painful. At this point, I began to cry my eyes out. It hurt so bad. My dad quickly took the role of being a father and brought me in to put my hand in cold water and explained how what I did was wrong. Of course there were the, “what to dos” to accompany the, “what not to dos.” Whenever I did something right, I would receive a congratulatory hug and sometimes a treat. Both have helped me live a productive life that is not full of failure and punishment, but happiness and memorable moments.
The one thing my parents ask of me, is to treat my kids how they treated me. That’s the least I can do.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.