The Job of Parents
Photo: The Job of Parents
As parents we have lots of responsibility for the details of our children’s lives. We cover the basics, food and shelter, which gets harder and harder in this economy, and we have their education. This means getting them into school as well as assuring they get to and from school. But, it also means educating them in the broadest sense of the word. So beyond the classroom our job is to provide an enriching environment and opportunities for our children. How do we do that?
There are many ways to provide an enriching experience for your children and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Of course there are all the museums in the Chicago area and most of them have a free day. These are great ways to stimulate interest in things beyond your own knowledge and interest. And there are libraries with many different local activities for kids. But there is something even closer to home that can provide the most enriching educational experience of all. Talking to you!
Telling the stories of your family, sharing the family history so the next generation knows it and can add to it and keep passing it on is a wonderful way to enrich the lives of generations to come. Telling family stories solidifies a continuous chain of relationships that helps all of us. Talking about the challenges and hardships of grandmothers and great grand fathers gives us not only a sense of history but can also help us through the hard times of this generation. The connections of the past can anchor us but also inspire us to be even more than we are. Stories of those who came before us help create a sense of belonging and give us roots.
Much of the job of parenting is to prepare our children to go beyond the shelter of home and family but don’t forget that we can travel farther and wider if we have roots to keep us grounded. We are the best educators of our children and we have many lessons to share. Let’s not forget that.