I am not a parent and I am not trying to say that there is one right way to raise children. I am just simply stating my appreciation for the way my parents raised me. I see kids as a part of my future. I want to be a mom (eventually). I am sure that when I become a mother there are things that I will do differently than my parents but this is something I hope to emulate.
I remember in 4th grade I had forgotten a homework assignment at school. My mother was also a 4th-grade teacher so I figured that since she had the same assignment in her teacher book, I could just use that. I was wrong. My mom told me to figure it out the way a child who didn't have extra access to the assignment would.
I remember being absolutely livid. I couldn't understand why my mom would not just simply give me an extra copy of the assignment. After all, it was much more work for her to drive me back to school so I could look for to there and to look for the number of my classmate's parent so I could call and ask my classmate to tell me the list of words or whatever it was that we needed to use.
After that though, I was much more responsible for bringing my homework wrong. Don't get me wrong, I was 10 so I'm sure I still forgot things plenty of times and if it was a particularly stressful time or every once and a while my parents would do things like give me the list of words.
For the most part, though they taught me that actions have consequences and to take responsibility for what I did. If I worked really hard but didn't get the grade I wanted my parents would acknowledge the effort and hard work I put in and then encourage me to think of other ways to study or to go speak with the teacher for help. My parents never called my teachers to complain about grades but they did encourage me and my brother to work harder next time, or if we thought the grade was truly unfair, to speak with the teacher ourselves.
This skill has helped me tremendously during the beginning of my adult life. I am able to respectfully voice my concerns to my professors, even when I don't get the outcome I want. Now that I have a job, I am able to speak with my bosses about concerns I have.
All of this being said, I am still a teenager. I made mistakes and my parents always gave consequences, that I hated at the time. I mean let's be honest what teenage girl likes losing her cell phone privileges. However, this just reinforced the notion that actions have consequences - good or bad.
I am so much more confident in myself and in my own abilities than I would have been otherwise. I still feel comfortable going to my parents with problems. My parents still offer me support and guidance but ultimately I know they trust me, and I trust my own abilities to be responsible and sure of my own decisions. I am able to articulate my thought process on decisions that maybe they might have felt differently about.
My parents and I are close. I appreciate all of their help and I really appreciate them providing a safe place for me to make mistakes and learn the consequence. I appreciate them helping shape me into the person I am today.