I’ve got to tell you, I look forward to my holiday podcast all year, I guess because holidays are special and a time for reflection. Being a little older person, I think gives me a perspective that younger parents just can’t have. I often ask myself strange questions…like the other day when I was wondering, “What is a child’s most valuable asset, their most important possession? Their place in the family will, their social security number and future benefits, their citizenship? No, I believe these these are all wrong. I think the answer is you…their parents. You are their rock, their everything, their foundation. You shape their world-view. You teach them to trust others. You teach them how to share. You teach them their language. And most of all, you teach them how to love themselves and others. So it is you, the parents of your children, that I want to concentrate on in this year’s holiday message.
We have this concept in this part of the world that the best parents are the ones that can provide the most things for their kids. This is clearly wrong. Many also believe that the best parents are those parents who devote the most time and energy to their kids. Again, I think this is exactly wrong. Yes, we need to provide things for our children and yes, we need to devote a lot of time and energy to their needs, but in my opinion, just as important for a child is to have parents who have some time to cultivate their own interests, who can grow in their own adult development, and who can be in emotionally satisfying relationships that are healthy and positive. Spending all of your time and energy on your children impedes these goals. Having parents that sacrifice all of their time, energy, and money for their children, in my opinion, is a mistake. Parents need to make sure they not only take care of their children, but also take the time to take care of themselves
So here is my holiday wish for you and your children:
Make it a priority to brush off your relationship with your significant other and up your romance and relationship game. Invest a little more time and energy into the love of your life, and I think you will find that it pays tremendous dividends for your children.
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to throw some more capital at your own intellectual, spiritual, and physical development. Take a class in something that interests you, join the gym and go regularly, read a novel, or simply visit places and people nearby who interest you.
Your children are watching and learning from everything you do…and they learn mainly by imitation. Remember that DocSmo pearl: Children are little machines of the vacuum and copy variety. And it’s corollary… It’s not an accident that interesting parents have interesting children.
This is Dr. Paul Smolen, broadcasting from studio 1E; you know, the first child’s bedroom on the east side of the house…hoping this holiday you remember that life is never ho-hum, if you live each day like the best is yet to come. Until next time.