A Different Way of Parenting

Marguarite - Warwick, Rhode Island
Entered on January 13, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family
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A child may never go to school, yet they will still learn a great deal from the actions and teachings of their mother. I believe the way a child develops into an adult is in direct correlation with how they are brought up and the relationship they have with their parents. My mother is my guardian and my best friend. She is a woman that can joke around and play games, yet still be serious when it’s necessary. My mother is someone I can go to no matter what the problem or concern is and know that my secret will be safe with her. She teaches her lessons of life whether she knows it or not, just by being herself. I have learned to be a positive person and have fun whenever possible. Life can’t be filled with just work, there is always room for more laughter and cheer.

When I was a young child, it was extremely important to my mother that I was a polite and respectful person. She made sure I knew not to judge others and give everyone a fair chance. My mother used to take me to a retirement community where a friend of the family lived. I would participate in their holiday bazaars and pot luck dinners to help out the older folks that didn’t have family close by. I loved to go there and see all the people. Though I thought I was just having fun doing these things, it really taught me compassion and empathy for the people around me. My mother was always good at disguising life lessons as fun.

Through my mother’s actions, I understood by the age of four that possessions were not everything in life. I gave up my treasured teddy bear for my new baby sister for she would need it more than I would. My mother would have me help sort through old unused clothes and toys to donate to those less fortunate. She would make it a game for me. “How fast can you sort all these clothes?” She would time my clothes separating “skills”. We would turn a daunting task into fun and enjoyment. I would get so excited that I pulled just about everything out of the closet to give away even if it was brand new. In fact, I would try to give away some of her things too without hesitation. An added benefit was we would get to spend quality time together while accomplishing a goal.

As my sister and I got older, my mother would always say, “You can come to me with anything.” Many times I went to my mother for problems I had with friends, boyfriends, and everyday stresses. She listened to me without judgment or preconceived notions. I learned to do the same for my mother as well. Adults have just as many problems if not more than teens. When my parents divorced, she made it her mission to be there for her children. My mother worked days and nights, just to stay afloat. Among all the work and stress, she still found time to sit down and play games with us. She stayed calm and collective in demanding situations and showed her girls to fight for what we want. It’s taught me the power of staying strong and focused.

Indulging in a little outdoor adventure was always something my mom loved. Camping was one way we could enjoy the outdoors together and still enjoy some freedom. Little did the kids know that the parents had the upper hand on us. All of the parents talked so they knew where we were at all times. But as kids, we thought our parents were giving us all the freedom in the world to experience anything we wanted. For me, it was great because I didn’t ever feel like my mom was cramping my space. To this day my mom still gives me all the freedom in the world because she trusts me. I have never given her a reason not to trust me. She would say to trust people until they give you a reason not to trust them.

Teamwork was and still is a big priority in the home. Our family’s teamwork didn’t come from playing sports, it came from cleaning up, doing laundry, making dinner, etc. There are lessons a person can learn only from being on a team. Being a team means working with one another, supporting each other, accommodating both strengths and weaknesses, and most of all communication. My mother strived to make sure that our family worked together like a well oiled machine. I know what it means to work hard and appreciate the work I do thanks to her.

For all these reasons and more, my mother brought me up in perfect balance. A mix of fun and discipline has made me into a well rounded individual. I have a great relationship with my mother because of her kind nature, trusting personality, and love for fun. I can express my feelings in any way I want without holding back an ounce. Before I even entered school, I acquired moral qualities that most middle aged adults still do not obtain. I believe it is because of mother’s unique style of parenting that I became the person I am today. She is fun, silly, generous, caring and above all she is my best friend. The saying goes, “Friends may come and go, but family is forever.” In this case, I know I’ll have at least one friend forever.