The life and times of the Redding family.

Friday, February 12, 2010

3 Things I Appreciate About My Parents

Three Things I Appreciate About My Parents
I recently asked some people to share with me the things they appreciated about their parents and these are some of the responses I received. Some were written to me personally. Thanks to everyone who shared!! I thought you all might like to read them as well.

My family created a place to belong.
My church family was a place to belong, the friends I made were a community for me.
I appreciated my parents tolerance of cats, dogs and lots of stops to explore on vacations and trips.

My parents know what they believe and they believe it firmly but still in my own lifetime I have seen them grow so much in intellect and faith. This has been important to me in the intellect of my dad and his faith.
Moms vigilance in keeping the family healthy with good food, books instead of TV, encouraging our imaginations. Her philosophy is that strong minds are made from being elastic and able to grow, not necessarily through book learning although that was important.

Freedom to think
Freedom to explore and try things out
Exposure to rich environments and interesting people

One thing that I really stands out to me about your parenting is that you all never tell anyone they can't do anything, no matter how "ridiculous" it might be. If one of the kids wants to start a magazine or say they want to walk on the moon, you all never discourage that. Even though realistically many of the things they want to do don't happen. It seems to have given them a feeling of confidence that I don't think many kids have. And it causes them to think differently from most people. :)

They didn't exercise parental authority arbitrarily.
They played with me, read to me, and did not pass me off to TV.
They spoke to me like an adult instead of talking over me like a kid.
I think the most important thing about them is that they love God and that love influences every bit of their lives.

Teaching me the ways of the Lord.
Instilling honesty and truth in my life.
To forgive others just as Christ forgives us.

They took us to church as a family and instilled the importance of our faith.
Taught me to be honest and kind to everyone!
I had wonderful loving parents and I hope I have turned out like them.

To a great degree I think the really important parenting happens at
the ages where, looking back now, we don't even really remember it.
You know, everything pre-10-or-12 or so. That's the stuff that really
sticks and becomes the foundation of how a person sees the world. I
think the most important thing up until then is probably just creating
a reassuring / loving environment for a kid to learn and grow in on
their own -- even if there's some kind of discipline going on, it has
to be an overarching realization in the kid's mind that they're
valuable and loved. And I think that was true in the case of all of us
as kids.

My parents gave me.....
Habit of regular attendance
Work ethic
Commitment to marriage
What I hope I've given to my children.
Security in the love of God and their parents.
Hunger for knowledge, wisdom, education and the integrity to act
I hope a commitment to family
Sense of humor
Love of the Reds

My parents raised thinkers independent of worldly peer pressure. That isn't such an easy
thing to do or to deal with.

Insisting on participation in family events, birthdays, holidays
Being financially responsible by paying for my own car and insurance

Open communication

They always told me they loved me, no matter what I had done.
They never argued in from of my brother and I but went downstairs to talk and work things out
Their home was always open for anyone to come and hang out while I was living there. From youth group to singles and even now today.

A general statement about my parents and their parenting skills: Even though we were poor, I was seldom aware of it and I was always secure with a feeling of belonging. There was little outward affection shown, but I knew that I was loved and did not have to worry about being taken care of.
Some positive characteristics of their parenting:

1. It was understood that God's way was the pattern that our family would strive to follow. Whatever was perceived as being right before God was the first consideration in everything we did.
            a. It took away much of the burden of making choices.
            b. Our parents' determination to do right made it easier for us tell others whether we were allowed or not to participate in their activities.
            c.  We never thought about whether we were going to gather with other Christians on meeting days. It was a given.
            d. Their consistent striving to do right helped to create a feeling of security.

2. Besides our spiritual foundation, we were very much aware of a good education. It was a necessity to be well educated, and so there was an emphasis on studying and doing well in school. We were given opportunities to experience many things in the world around us that most of our peers did not experience. You could say we went on a lot of field trips because our parents were interested in history, in nature, and in innovative developments around us.

3. We were provided with opportunities to work, to contribute to the welfare of the family, to learn the value of things that we wanted by earning money to purchase them. We saw our parents work hard to support us and to help other people and so we learned to appreciate that those things that were provided for us came out of a labor of love, but nonetheless, a labor that was often very hard.

4. Our parents spent much time in helping the communities in which they lived. Even as poor as we were we shared with those who were in need. School children that my parents served often needed such things as shoes. I never felt cheated that my father gave things to other people. I believe that I learned to be compassionate through those experiences.

5. We had fun. Our parents provided opportunities for us to have fun along with themselves, other family members and neighboring families. We often got together with others  to sing or simply visit, but we children were a part of everything that went on. If the grownups had some special project going on the children were allowed to have their own activities. Board games, hide and go seek, croquet, ball, or just simply chasing each other. We had a lot of freedom because we had room to be active without disturbing anyone.

I realize I have listed 4 things, but I could keep going. I also realize that what I have written may not be considered parenting skills, but I think they actually are. There was the matter of discipline (punishment) that was not always appropriate. It was too harsh at times, but the best discipline was attained in the 4 items I listed above. There was training going on even in the fun times. We were family and we were getting along with other people, adjusting to their differences  and sharing
our selves with them. Social skills developed out of the need to get along and have fun.

Things my parents did right.
1. My mother took me to church no matter how tired she was from working long days.
2. My mother let me talk to my hearts content. I'm sure she would have liked some down time for herself after work but she certainly did not get it. My sister and I would run to meet her at the car and walk her in sharing all the details of our day.
3. My parents taught me to work hard. This gave me a confidence that I could not have gotten any other way. This also gave me opportunities to serve the body. My mother took me on Bible studies, door knocking, working bus ministry, youth rallies and work shops. She helped me produce the church bulletin and took me to church camps.
4. My parents worked hard to take care of my physical needs and they took care of the needs of others as well.
They are the most generous people I have ever met. Not only to family but to others as well.

Unnamed class member
I really appreciated the boundaries that my parents had as well as our community had.

I think my parents did a great job in raising me.


Anonymous said...

Cool story you got here. It would be great to read more about that topic. Thnx for sharing this material.

From Redding Mountain said...

Thanks! I'm actually researching this so check back for more information down the road:)

my5guyzandme said...

Awesome post! I wish there was more encouragement like this for parents. Amy

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