March 29, 2012 2 Comments
You hear that saying every once in awhile. Actually, I haven’t heard it in awhile now but it used to be very popular. It doesn’t really mean much to most people because it’s kind of this airy-fairy feel good, tree hugging concept of child rearing.
It’s really true though.
I’ve said before that my kids had a lot of influences growing up. There are some things that teenagers need more than anything else when they are growing up. One is to feel like they belong somewhere, preferably at home, at school and in their communities – at least one of those places. They are not likely to succeed and do well if they don’t have that. Teenagers need at least one adult that thinks they’re the greatest thing on earth. Not necessarily lets them get away with stuff, but thinks they’re smart and capable and talented and have potential and makes them feel that way. they need to feel connected and have a sense of belonging. Again, preferably someone in their home life but at least someone in their school or in their community. It makes a difference.
It is a little nerve wracking feeling like you’re sharing your kids with other adults. It has given me pause at times in the past because you wonder and worry about what your kids are saying about you to other adults. It’s also a little worrisome when your kids get really attached to other adults and think they’re cool but really, it’s good for them.
My boy-child is the best example of this. His friend’s parents treat him like he’s one of their kids and have since he was little. He had his own bed in his one friend’s house. When they repainted the bedroom, they asked him what color he wanted.
One time my son had to take the train back from university and due to the train schedule he had missed supper. This particular friend, her mom sent her to pick him up from the station with a bagged meal (sandwiches and treats) because she was worried that he would be hungry. In high school, yet another friend’s family bought mustard so that my boy would have mustard for his sandwiches. No one else in the family ate mustard but you know, he was like their third son so they wanted to make sure he had some there in the fridge.
Another friend’s dad (otherwise known as father Ted) is planning on going to his med school graduation with me since my son will have two tickets and only one of me. He’s so proud of him. This is the home of the Tupper Street Vandals hangout. He just loves those boys although he spends an awful lot of time cursing them. In fact, the boys would often steal father Ted’s beer (he bought the expensive kind) and drink it on him. It became a bit of an ongoing joke. This week boy-child is on his reading week from med school and dropped his buddy off at his dad’s house. He noticed a case of the expensive beer in the garage so he thought he would be funny and hide the beer. Then he called “father Ted” and left a voice message that went something along the lines of “Hey father Ted, I just dropped buddy off at home and noticed you bought us a case of beer! How nice of you! I don’t know how you even knew we were coming. Thanks a lot!!”. They’ve promised me they’ll let him know where the beer is before long and not stress the guy out too much.
It’s all those little things (not the beer necessarily but the little things that make my son feel like he’s part of another family). They mean a lot, they add up in a positive way and it’s no wonder my kid turned out so amazing. He had a lot of people looking out for him and helping to take care of him and it shows.