Lessons in Graceful Parenting..

I’ve decided to create a page called “Lessons in Graceful Parenting”. It’s a work in progress (just like me) and I will continue to update it as often as I can, so be sure to “follow” me and you’ll be emailed whenever I update.
These are little bits of knowledge I’ve picked up along the way, pieces from here and there – that have left me feeling smarter, stronger and a better parent for deeply digesting the words I’m reading. Some of the quotes on these photos are my own words, some I have seen in a random photo on Facebook, and some are things I remember hearing come out of my own mother and fathers mouths. Wherever they have came from, I hope they travel forward in your own heart to your children and so on.

I have often wondered about the impact my words would have on my daughter, so I choose to think before speaking to her always. Of course there’s the occasional scream off where I just don’t have the opportunity to think about how to carefully craft my sentence ‘don’t run with those scissors’, but most of the time, I have the time to make sense of the situation and adjust my words accordingly. Not only do I realize that my words will someday become her inner voice, but I also realize that words can hurt, cause memories that will last much longer that I, and that my voice will move forward through her to the generation after her.

I posted this photo on Facebook and my Aunt reminded me that it’s not just “OK”, but pushes toward the unknown are encouraged- for her to take leaps of faith in all aspects of her life- and she’s absolutely correct! How will she ever know how to truly live without taking risks and learning what failure is about. I’ve heard that

In order to truly understand happiness, one must know sadness.

In order to understand success, one must know failure.

In order to know love, one must know heartbreak.

I will always encourage her to take risks, cautiously…

Growing up, my cousins were my best friends. They were all boys (except Niki and Katie- who I am blessed to be close to now) and so they were all very protective of me. My cousin Adam even tied our shoelaces together while inner tubing down Wolf Creek in Wisconsin – I think we were 6 and 7…

I am lucky to say that I have the BEST cousins in the world, although it’s safe to say that my daughter has some pretty amazing cousins too!

I always tell my daughter that she doesn’t have to be friends with everyone, but that she has to be friendly to all.  I tell her she only needs one or two really good friends, and perhaps they’ll be here lifelong best friends.

It doesn’t matter when you meet them in your life,

but best friends are invaluable and they accept and love you for who you are.

I know who mine are, and they do too, because I can call them and we can pick up right where we left off- whether it was last week or even last year.

I’ve heard this:

The words that escape a friends mouth are “I’ll be there when you say you need me” –

The words that are unheard from a true friends heart are “I’ll be there, whether you need me or not”

Keep your friends close, and treasure your friends always.

I hope my daughter always believes she is as special as I think she is.  I know there will be times when life might not be going her way, but I truly hope we are giving her the tools to know how to adjust to whatever is thrown her way.    They say to be loved, one has to love themselves first- but it seems that there is such a fine line between self love and conceit.   I think as long as she remains true to herself, works hard to ensure her dreams become reality and is a friend to all- she will be just fine…

When Grace was younger, she wanted to be friends with this cute little girl ~ but this cute little girl did not want to be friends with her… My baby was heartbroken and you don’t know heartbroken until you see those big brown eyes look up at you and say ‘what’s wrong with me??’

You know what though?  I think that little girl gave my daughter one of the greatest gifts she will ever receive. After repeated attempts at a friendship, and me countless times saying ‘you don’t need to be friends with everyone, some people were never meant to be friends’, Grace finally understood that it’s OK to separate yourself from everyone else… It’s OK to ‘do your own thing’… It is OK to walk your own path.

Gladly, she has taken my advice and seems to be paving more than just a new path for herself – more like a big wide Interstate!

I want her to know that dreams can be obtained ~ if she sets a goal, it can be reached ~ that nothing is impossible and all is attainable.

Really, what better lesson to teach our kids?

I can’t tell you the number of times Grace has come home heartbroken – asking ‘why am I thicker than the other girls’ or saying ‘my hair is so boring and dull and crazy wavy’ or ‘why is my face so wide??’

This breaks MY heart!  When I was eight, I was not worried about my physical appearance in the least!

I wish people would really stop putting so much emphasis on the physical appearance of people, and spend time getting to know one another.  Talking, sharing, laughing, crying…

All of our children are beautiful ~ but I have to say, I’ve seen some real ugliness in this world- and it is a learned behavior to be ugly.

Lead by example and be beautiful to your child, for your child.

Get your child a pet – dog, cat, turtle, whatever… just get them a pet that they can care for and learn what true, unselfish, forgiving, unconditional love is.  There is nothing like being gone all day, coming home tired and exhausted~ and seeing your best friend waiting for you so happy that you’ve returned….

Absolutely.  Nothing.

We have two dogs right now and they are sweet, loving creatures who don’t care that we took off all day long, that we took off for the weekend and left them with the neighbors.  They don’t care that I forgot to put wet food down, only leaving them with hard kibbles, and they don’t care that I am sitting veged out in front of the TV.  As long as they are touching a human member of this family, they are happy.   When was the last time you were that happy for something so simple?

Love.  If you’ve already got a pet, you know what I am talking about.

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