Respecting parents

September 2, 2008

My respect for parents has just sky rocketed. Having been the guardian for my nephew, Roger, for the past 5 days, I have a little better of an idea of what it takes to be a parent. The patience and calm it takes to quiet a screaming baby, the act of letting early teens have more freedom, watching your kids hang out with friends that you would rather they not hang out with, overseeing their eating habits, their manners, what they wear, what they say, and how they talk, all of this is a huge amount of effort, and I, for one, salute parents all over the world from all time and say “my hat is off to you for being a parent.” As The Urantia Book says, parenting is a marvelous civilizing tool for an evolving planet in that it teaches all the great qualities in people: love, tolerance, patience, forgiveness, and such.

I resisted parenting my nephew, but rather spoke to him like an adult. He will, after all, be 14 this weekend, and everywhere we went, 13 was considered “adult” and I let him know that. What was informative to me was what it is like being that age. I really had forgotten. As much as I like to think I was so much older then, people are still children at that age, or big children.

Our music education professor keeps telling me that there are special things that teachers of K-12 students need to be equipped with in order to effectively do their job. I have always been skeptical, but not after this weekend. I have always referred to the ability to teach and have patience with children age 0 – 18 as a “gift” at least in terms of the educational process, and that I have not been blessed with that gift. My abilities as a teacher don’t really kick in until the college level, when students have made a conscious decision to pursue college.

Parents of the world, I salute you!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Brad Wood September 2, 2008 at 8:08 am

Roger, on parental respect and appreciation—Amen!

As desperately as I wanted to be an adult prematurely, even as early as 4 or so, it is not an advisable trajectory. As my father used to say, Don’t do that—it will stunt your growth. And I do remember what it was like to be an adolescent quite clearly, and am appalled at how quickly grown-ups forget.

I’d make a hell of a teacher, except for caring too much (only half-kidding on that latter qualifier).

Pattyoboe September 2, 2008 at 8:52 am

I really wasn’t terribly good at teaching middle and high school oboists until my children were that age. Now I actually love teaching them, and I think most of them enjoy their lessons. I know not everyone needs to have children in order to teach children, but I sure did!

Now I have these three grown children (26, 23, 19). I’m not sure how that happened. But I think it means I’m old. And yet I still feel like a kid in oh so many ways.

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