Saturday, November 22, 2014

Maybe Something is Getting in?

I always tell people who don't have kids that one of the hardest parts of parenting for me is not having any sort of gauge to tell if I'm doing it right. I did well in school and I thrived on getting a grade for each completed task. However, with parenting some, or even most, of the work I'm putting into my kids is an investment that won't show dividends for years or decades. I never get graded on my tasks as a mom. It is so hard to put so much work in, and not see the results of that work.

Every once in awhile I catch a tiny glimpse that maybe some of what I say is getting into my kids' heads.

Today I am sitting on the couch while my daughter and her cousin play with play dough. They are playing some sort of  what I would have called "house" when I was a kid. There is a play dough mother, father, and children. My Natalie is playing the part of the mother. This set up is very telling as everything Natalie says sounds like words that have come out of my mouth.

Some of it makes me cringe, "I said to clean up all of this mess!" she says in an angry tone.  Yup, that's me.  "You didn't listen to me!  Get to your room, you're grounded!"  Guilty.

But she also says some pretty great things. Play Dough Mom says, "You need to be kind to your brother. In this family, we treat each other with respect."  Hey, that's me too. And I kid you not, at one point she said, "People are all different, we should celebrate those differences instead of trying to make everybody be the same. That would be so boring!"

There are certain sentiments that I repeat, and repeat, and repeat but never know if they are making an impression on the kids. Today I am thankful for this little moment when I can hear my daughter repeating some of the important lessons I've tried to instill in her. Sure, it's just a game with play dough, but I choose to believe that her ability to spout them off so easily means they are in her head, ready to come out and be applied in another year, or five, or forty.


  1. You are a good teacher, Andi. As with each of your posts, this one caught my heart. You have beautiful, loving children. Each one earns you a gold star every day.

  2. Your children are earning you an A+ in parenting. They aren't perfect - they are so much better than that - they are loving and genuine and I enjoy every moment that I spend with you and frank and them !!!!!!!

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  3. You were definitely an excellent student in college. I aspire to learn your parenting skills, so I think you can assume you're doing something right. :) And it's so great you learned something new from Natalie too. They model us, we watch their play and adjust...back & forth.