The Worst Fears
- Sexual abuse, rape or molestation
- Teenage pregnancy
Although I was not a teenager when I had her – so that fear was not grounded in my personal reality – I was a survivor of childhood sexual molestation and rape as an adult woman. A a result, and without explaining the gory details, I watched my baby like a hawk! She could barely move out of my sight and my nerves would be on edge and I would searched the area for her. Just this weekend, pouring over an old journal from 2006, I came across a letter she sent to me by email and the main theme was my hawkish behaviour right up to her 18th birthday.
Teach A Child In The Way…
Maybe I ought to have apologized but I did not. As the earthly guardian of this life, it was my duty and responsibility to teach, guide, warn and watch over her – and I did like a soldier! However, my attitude to parenting was balanced and my vigilance was just as heightened when it came to teaching, monitoring and supporting my daughter when she faltered on other very important “virtues” that would help her through this world:
- Respect of others, no matter where they lived or what their circumstances
- Manners, politeness and consideration of others
- Sensitivity to the world around her and her immediate circles and how her behaviour affected others
- To give more than she received and watch the magic happen – The Universe would provide for her abundantly
That last lesson continues today as I watch her take care of her own child and as I take part in the rearing of my granddaughter. My mother taught me one of the most important lessons of my life – although she often used her fists to pound it into me. “Manners will take you through this world,” she would tell me every chance she got. She was right. While I can get very upset with you, my ability to politely tell you off is a skill of mine.
Abusive and “Care-less” Parenting
My daughter has that same ability, as I taught her the lesson without the fists. As we close our four-part short story series today, Alexis Ali will share with us how things ended between a mother and her twin girls who, in her violent and abusive way, might have wanted to teach her girls this very lesson and more. She, however, like my mother added too much “hands-on” sessions to her coaching. If you have missed the earlier segments, you can catch up on Part One, Part Two and Part Three and be sure to subscribe and get a daily email update that will include Part Three. [optin-cat id=”6744″]
Parenting today has so many more considerations than “back in the day,” when television was as social as it got and Sesame Street was the only game in town for children under seven years old. When Dallas hit the small screen, it was one of the most scandalous things to come into my neighbourhood and we all gathered to watch. People are naturally curious, none more so than children but it is our responsibility as parents to teach them all the “virtues” of life, the core principles in my view of honour, respect, compassion, sensitivity and love. We teach them by example. My spiritual guide for a couple of years now always remind us that,
“Words do not teach. We teach by the clarity of our example.”
This is something that many parents are befuddled by when their children begin acting in, let us call them, anti-social and insensitive ways. They forget the many times they held court and demonstrated for their children how to be rude to others, how best to judge and label others and treat them accordingly. Children are sponges and whatever you throw on the proverbial floor in front of them, they are going to soak it up. So, do not be surprised later on when that sponge starts to ooze behaviour and words that cause your friends to raise their eyebrows and pull their children away from yours.
Teaching children the core principles does not need shouting and screaming. I committed several faux pas in my time as an active parent but none that I later did not try to make amends for by apologizing, explaining to my daughter what happened or did not happen inside of me and how I will correct my ways, then did it.
In her now 27 years, I struck her once as a child and I wept more than she did after this disciplinary move. In her adult years, we had a major fight and harsh words were uttered by me and I paid the price of that. Years later, we are now enjoying one of the best mother/daughter relationships any woman could hope for. Yes, we have our differences in style, communicating and ways of being. However, our bond is so strong that only air can pass between us.
Our intention on this blog is to always discuss real life issues, practical ways to incorporate “the good,” “the sacred” into all your relationships as you seek to honour yourself and who you define that person to be. That is the aim of every post, every Webinar that I host and every post on my Facebook page or Twitter. Alexis’ article later this afternoon is opening a window into a dark room of domestic violence of another kind – parent against child. Neelma’s post yesterday offered a glimpse into the lives of women, mothers living in another part of our world but sharing some of the same challenges.
Subscribe and be a part of this community, share our conversations with your friends across social media and let us together turn on lights in darkened and closed rooms. [tweetthis]Check out this great blog for women by women (and two guys)![/tweetthis]