Friday, June 27, 2008

It really does hurt more...

I originally posted this blog on another site, but I think it's too important not to share again with more of you... For those of you who are parents, you will completely understand and identify with my sentiments here. For those of you who have yet to endure the pleasures and pains of parenting, take notes.

Being a parent is tough. I remember once my mother telling me that being the disciplinarian was harder than being the one disciplined. And at the time that made absolutely no sense whatsoever. How could that possibly be true when I was the one who took the punishment? I was the one who got the spanking, got grounded, got sent to my room, or got scolded … she was the one who doled it out! I think her words were "this hurts me more than it hurts you..." What the heck was she talking about?!

That was probably 36 years ago… when I was a naive child who knew it all, who couldn't be tamed, and who challenged all the warnings. Now I fully and completely understand exactly what she meant. You see I live with a carbon copy of that self, but just in the form of a 10 year old boy. Is this karma? No doubt!

So now I live those moments of being the parent who has to teach their child a painful lesson through discipline. I can honestly say that we do NOT enjoy doling out punishments, but we believe that discipline is really about teaching your child a lesson via strong, definitive messages. We struggle with these choices and decisions. It's gut wrenching to have to deliver severe consequences to your child's behavior, knowing that you have somehow failed him in the first place to have him act out with such negativity. Yet ultimately you must forego the alliance you've forged with your child in order fortify the respect they must earn from you, their fellow man, and society.

Parenting is the hardest job in the world and one must be totally dedicated to the task, for richer or poorer, through sickness and health, in good times and in bad, as long as you both shall live. It's a commitment as profound as marriage but one that, if you successfully adhere to, will bestow great wealth to all. It will build strong character, morals, fortitude and reverence.

There are times that I wish someone would step in and parent my kids for me because sometimes it's way beyond exasperating. But no one should ever question my love, my devotion and my dedication to these beautiful human beings. I've said it before… I don't always like my childrens' behavior but I will LOVE them until the end of time. No matter what.

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded.

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