Last night I didn’t sleep very well. I’m sure many of you know the feeling.
The next morning I contemplated playing hooky. “Do what is best for you,” said my husband as he hovered over me.
What is best for me? Not sure, but then I remembered that I was speaking at a PTA parent group at 10, so I’d better get moving.
I walked around the apartment thinking about the best parenting advice I could share. After all, I am a mom of two grown sons and a grandmother to 12-year-old Lia and 14-year-old Robert. And then I spotted the Pet Rock that my youngest son made for my mom.
(For those of you not familiar with Pet Rocks, they were developed in the 70s. It was a gift you gave, that does not need to be fed, walked, bathed or groomed.)
I found my mom’s Pet Rock when we were cleaning out her apartment after she died. She moved several times and Eliot’s Pet Rock always held a place of honor. Eliot had to be about seven or eight when he created his masterpiece.
So now I realize that the first thing I would share with the PTA moms is that sometimes it’s the simple things you do with your kids that last a lifetime. Has nothing to do with money or time. It’s that special moment of sharing.
Then I skip ahead ten years. My son was a member of a group that ran for county offices, like judges and the county executive. The video he created caused an uproar among adults but the kids loved it, and got voted into office. Like bad boys we were called into the principal’s office where we were told that Eliot could not take the judgeship for the day.
My husband and I turned to my son and asked him what he would like to do. Regardless of what he decided, we would support him.
This lead to me sharing my second piece of advice: as parents it is our role to support our kids so they feel comfortable standing up for themselves. Or in situations where they cannot stand up for themselves, we have to be strong advocates for them.
You may wonder, ‘What has this to do with the Common Core Uproar?’
For some parents fighting the common core battle is their way of standing up for their kids and that’s their right. But for me, it is the small acts we do all the time that help our kids grow up to be strong individuals who love life and enjoy learning no matter how old they are.