It is good to be a father and even better to be the father of two excellent human beings - now all grown-up. And it's good to know that they both still love me, still respect me and look back on their childhoods with great fondness. They were loved and treated kindly and they accepted the sensible "rules" we imposed. "Rules" about manners, personal hygiene, doing your best, kindness, bedtime and mealtimes. Of course it helped enormously that they had a mother who was singing from the very same parental hymn sheet.
As a father, it was of large assistance that my own father had been a good man who, in tandem with my mother, raised me and my three brothers with wholesomeness and love. He gave me a successful model upon which to develop my own version of fatherhood.
No parent is perfect and we all make mistakes but what matters above all is that we should not love our children blindly. We should recognise and respect their individuality, not trying to mould them into new versions of ourselves and we should have fun with them. There should be laughter every day, footballs to kick, books to read, paintings to do, stories to tell.
In fatherhood, I guess you reap what you sow or to put it another way - the proof of the pudding is in the eating. When the years have flown by and your children are adults, you will discover whether or not your instinctive approach to parenting was in general the right one. You will know by seeing clearly the people before you - in whose growth you were privileged to play a vital part.
Last Sunday was Father's Day in this country but Shirley and I were away in Greece. Last night my lovely daughter gave me a late Father's Day card. As per usual she had made it herself. At first I thought the yellow thing was a pig but it's Trump's hair...
Excellent post about Fatherhood and as a Father you should be proud! I love the card - Frances clearly understands the speech of our (?) president. I love the hair, the tiny hands and the simple adjectives. I'm not sure if he knows the meaning of the word "supportive" though as he rarely gets past one or two syllable words! Great card Frances!ReplyDelete
YA! Really great card. Read my lips. Make cards great again.Delete
There is nothing more rewarding than having grown children who are smart and happy and funny and who love their parents and who are happy to have a grown-up relationship with them. I have to say though that I feel as if a lot of luck was involved in my own raising of children. If I hadn't had the childhood I'd had, my ability to empathize and to respect differences would not have been what it was, even though my own childhood was not a happy one for the most part. Also? I think that kids arrive with their basic personalities intact. So there is that, too.ReplyDelete
I love the card. Your daughter is very talented and obviously there is nothing wrong with her sense of humor. You and Shirley did a fine job raising your kids.
And of course, love is always the most important ingredient in all of this.
I can appreciate how tricky it must be to be a successful parent when one's own upbringing was troubled. But in your case, your blogposts prove that you were indeed successful and continue to be so.Delete
I mostly had fun raising my kids. I certainly learned from them and yes, a few times they challenged me and it wasn't fun. Today they are 47 and 49 and not young anymore.ReplyDelete
How the years fly Red.Delete
Yes. She is Kylie.Delete
Something I will never knowReplyDelete
But you have put a lot of that fatherhood energy into your animals. The love you feel for them is special and endearing.Delete
This was a joy to read, and Frances' card is a great, great card! Really terrific. It's true!ReplyDelete
As for parenthood, I have never been a mother myself but my own childhood and youth are still very present, and from that, I know how good parenting works - my Mum and Dad gave us everything you mention. There were some sensible rules, there were books and colours and toys, walks and hikes, museums and galleries, lakes and woods, animals and people, our own countryside and other laces, but most of all, there were love, trust and humour.
They gave you and your sister a lovely childhood and now that they are old your relationship with them remains strong and loving. This comes across from time to time in your blog.Delete
All three of our kids remember their childhood as good and have told us so. We didn't have much money but we all had bikes and used to go out lots on them. They remember most the mountains of cakes I used to make, lolReplyDelete
Did they pedal up the cake mountains on their bikes?Delete
Great card Frances! Pud, you have made me think, and realise , that the 3 boys, now men, that we raised have turned out OK.....so I/we must have done something right! (Those smacks on the leg when they drove me up the wall didn't do any harm....I wish I could do the same to the Grandkids sometimes! )ReplyDelete
I hardly ever smacked our two and I still regret smacking Ian's legs when he had chewed chunks out of the foam rubber headrests in our Ford Fiesta. He was three and I was mad because I had told him several times not to do this.Delete
Sounds pretty good to me. I don't have children but I "share" my sister's 4, now all adults and can see how great parenting results in wonderful adults. You seem to have done a pretty good job all round Mr P.ReplyDelete
I sometimes think that those who commit terrible acts are invariably the products of poor, cruel or non-existent parenting. Take the kids who killed James Bulger as examples. I don't excuse them but how did the wickedness arise?Delete
Lovely card, full of fun and vitality. You are both lucky that life panned out the way it did. You were able to bring up two bright children to adulthood and now you can sit back and rest on their laurels....ReplyDelete
Yes Thelma. You are right that we were lucky - especially as my wife had not one but two ectopic pregnancies.Delete
So you've re-styled your hair, Yorkie?ReplyDelete
I hope every day is Father's Day for you...it seems that it could very well be. :)
I have gone for the Trump comb-over look. I know that it will make you Aussie wenches swoon.Delete
Sometimes I wonder why it is that people can marry, which is intended to be a life-long commitment, and they can have children, which surely should be a long-term commitment, and in neither case do we have to take a single class, course, degree, test or exam, either practical or written. The two most important things we can do, and most of us are ill-prepared. And then we pass down the gaping holes in our learning to the next generation. Love is not enough; people need training!! I do realize that some churches offer marriage and parenting courses, but many do not, and if you are not affiliated with a church you're completely on your own.ReplyDelete
You were indeed lucky to have good parenting role models, YP.
You make a good point Jenny-O. No training programme could ever fully prepare for the marriage journey but as you say most people enter marriage with no training whatsoever.Delete
That is a brilliant card. Your daughter is talented! (As is your son, of course.)ReplyDelete