Wise parents don’t put off until tomorrow what can be enjoyed today with children, because it can be enjoyed again tomorrow. Three decades ago, a TV commercial suggested pleasure could be doubled by chewing Doublemint Gum. “Double your pleasure; double your fun, chew Doublemint, Doublemint, Doublemint Gum.” Viewers were lead to believe this gum tasted twice as good as any other; so, it would be silly not to purchase the “double your pleasure,” gum. Parental regrets come when parents realize it was a mistake not to have invested more time in children. Pleasurable moments and the best times for children, are also the best times for parents.
With the hectic lifestyles families lead today, it’s sometimes difficult to plan for the future. Periodic pauses are needed to catch one’s breath. Getting caught up in routine matters and failing to look ahead to see the big picture is not always easy. Effective parenting requires rolling with the flow to achieve expected anticipations. Like pebbles being pushed downstream, it’s important to roll along and stay intact regardless of what comes up around the bend. Without consistency, it’s easy to become just another grain of sand. It’s all a matter of planning and investing time in children. There are no shortcuts. Taking time to listen, go for a walk, read a book and watch sun-sets are the mortar holding things together. There’s much more to parenting than making rules and enforcing expectations. Paybacks and pleasures are doubled in the form of smiles and hugs around the knees. The rapture shown with smiling faces tells a bigger story. Smiles beget smiles. There are few words to describe the exhilaration children feel when parents smile down upon them.
It’s too bad we don’t have a penalty box or time-out area for neglectful, wanna-be parents. We only have one chance to be a good parent the first time. Once that opportunity is gone, it’s gone. Granted, those who don’t put forth much effort won’t make many mistakes. To dare nothing and learn nothing from experiences with children becomes a sad day to be regretted later. Herein lies a lesson. A master carpenter told an insightful story about learning from mistakes. A young man applied for an apprentice position with him. As he questioned the young worker about his experience and skills, he beamed with pride as he boasted about all he had done. Finally, the master carpenter asked him, “Have you ever made a mistake?” He answered proudly that he had not, and waited expectantly for a job offer.
The young man was surprised when the master carpenter informed him he would not be hiring such a skillful apprentice. His shockingly practical reasoning surprised him. You see, “When you do make mistakes, and you will, you won’t know how to fix them.” The apprentice didn’t realize mistakes were beneficial to learn from: and, only after dealing with real-life blunders, would he be able to convince anyone about his ability to handle them effectively. The same holds true with parenting; we must take a step or two backward occasionally in hopes of moving forward. Few parents or master carpenters have the perfect blueprint enabling them to avoid real-life mistakes and miscalculations. The best times for children and parents can be doubled-up (your pleasure) to become the best learning experiences.
Contact this Logan County author of the “Woodshed Parenting Revival” and retired teacher/administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit Oldeduicator.com