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In the local daily, some fellow writes in about parenting advice. He tries.
Anyone who’s a new parent, or parent-to-be, I’d advise not to pay attention to any parenting advice. Accept it politely, then ignore it.
Because they come out just like they are. Some of my son’s personality was evident when he was six months old. They have an inborn essence; what WE can do is introduce them to new things and ways which expand their experiences. Their character is pretty much built-in.
I found two heartbreaks in parenting when my son was born. The first is that all of the things and fantasies and magical ideas you have about parenting go up on the shelf. You will only use the skills that your child or children call forth, due to their nature. Although it would be fun to snuggle up and read stories, well, it entirely depends on the kid. You, parent, are there to provided what is needed, not what you wish to do.
I love my son dearly. When he does his homework, I’ll offer my help. He’ll politely decline, very courteous, he is. I offer, “You know, I do have a degree in the subject from MIT..” Again, diplomatically, he seems briefly impressed, and declines the offer once more.
My degree from MIT is not the center of the problem – it is merely my own vanity. It is how he wishes to do his own homework, and that is his business.
The second heartbreak is, not only do they have their own (God-given) uniqueness, a lot of it is unpleasantly familiar. They’re kind of like YOU. And your mom, and your pop, and such.
My son is so much like my (late) dad, it’s spooky. What I can do is teach him how to manage his OWN quirks and styles and peculiarities in a way that he can have happiness. Nobody did that for my dad; it’s a little sad. But I can pay back to the next generation.
My son is definitely a High Desert Cowboy. He could live for a year on his own in the mountains, with nobody around, doing what it is to be done. All he needs is to learn how to cook – he’s not even started on that. He could live alone in the Alaskan bush just fine.
He’s not peculiar or strange in any way – no more so than people who get anxious when they get out of sight of another human being. That’s one type of (God-given) personality. They get handed out as (God sees fit) – it is up to us to respect and honor the gift of life in each one.
I see myself mirrored a lot in my son. I like that.