A blog or so ago I asked how do we combat hatred? Again, there is not a clear cut answer. What happens when a parent is the target of hatred and hostility by other parents? If a child is exposed to such negativity what impact does this have upon them? I unfortunately speak from experience (see my July 29, 2012 blog entry) and the personal attacks that have stemmed from other parents regarding my blog. Then I thought about my own daughter and what lengths I would go and have gone to protect her from such hostilities.
How do I want to raise my daughter? I am the proud mom of a 9 almost 10 year old girl. She truly amazes me every day in her bravery and adventure to do and try new things. She auditioned for her first play (her idea) and I could not be prouder. I do not think I could nor would have auditioned for something so complicated at that age. Of course now we wait to see if she has a part in the play. Waiting is the difficult part.
As a parent, the biggest challenge is raising good children given all the influences and environment that surrounds them. How can we accomplish this? I read an article about raising polite children and although we cannot be with them everywhere they go, they can take a part of their family life with them as they venture out the door, and what they take with them is we teach them through our example. The article talked about manners, the simple “please and thank you.” We continuously instill in our children to use these terms daily, but do we as parents use these terms in speaking with them or in speaking with other? I mean, our children are little people after all. When we ask something of our children, could we be better at inserting the word please and say thank you to them for even the smallest reason? The most difficult phrase for me to say, not only as an adult, but most especially as a parent, is “I’m sorry.” I know, as a parent, I’m not always going to get it right and feelings will be hurt however, by apologizing to my children, I’m letting them know that mom messes up sometimes and it’s OK.
However, what happens to children when they are exposed to parents that are not nice to others, that are in themselves mean? To what degree do we as parents impact our children’s behavior and their treatment of others? If we treat others with disrespect through gossip and hatred and this is witnessed by our children, they are being taught that it is OK to disrespect others as well. Studies have shown that daughters emulate their mothers. Is it not our responsibility as mothers and women to be examples to our children by showing empathy, compassion and benevolence towards others? If our children, our daughters emulate our behavior, is it not our responsibility to provide the best example possible? If we show disdain towards others, our children will show disdain. If we show compassion and respect, our children will carry these traits way into adulthood.
Our goal as parents, as mothers, is to encourage and cultivate a sense of self in our children, in our daughters, as we are the most influential people in their lives. We must look beyond our differences and promote a level of tolerance. The common goal is to raise polite and strong children because we want them to be accepted and accepting; and develop strong, lasting friendships. It is by example, being kind and considerate of others; and the existence of a supportive community environment, that as parents we can achieve this objective.
How will you raise your daughter?
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