Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mother's Day and Gardening--Both can be rewarding

Mother's Day is this Sunday...a short video about us mothers.

I know that not all mothers are always like the ones depicted in this video, some just never figured out what they need to do to nurture their children. Some never even tried to figure it out, which is sad because they sure missed out on some great times.

We don't rake or remove dead plants in the fall so that our earth can be protected during the freeze/melt cycles we have as our winter so there is a lot of work to prepare our yards for planting and the 'not snowy winter' season we are entering. I was weeding/cleaning up yesterday, and as I was pulling the green grass (nice to see green again) out of the veggie garden I thought how it was like parenting.

If a lot of effort is put in from the start the rewards are great later on. For the most part because even the most diligent gardener cannot predict accurately how the environment will impact the seeds and plants. You just do the best you can with the skills you have. If your skills are lacking, you seek out those who have those skills and learn from them.

As it is with parenting, if a parent so chooses, they can spend a lot of time with their child(ren), teaching them the values and concepts that the parent believe are important.

Some parents believe that the child should decide for themselves about religion, values and other core concepts so they don't bias their child with their own beliefs and values. I don't understand how that is advantageous because how is the child to decide if they don't have anything to compare to? And how is teaching your child indoctrinating them when it YOUR belief?  I do understand why some parents don't want to "indoctrinate" their child about values and beliefs, as there are some very damaging philosophies being taught. But be assured that the "my way or the highway" philosophy of child raising is not compatible with teaching and guiding.

 Like a garden, a child needs to be nurtured, to be guided in learning about themselves and the world in which she/he lives. And to be taught to think. If they can do the 5 W's and How they will have a firm foundation to decide things. But to decide is to have a knowledge from which to compare new information. Pass onto your child your values and beliefs! If you don't, who will? Do you really want to leave it up to chance?

Most children are really forgiving of parental mistakes, if there have been some positive interactions and efforts of some type of love towards the child. And children love their parents, even severely abusive parents (that bond is deep!).

It's a balancing act, but with practice (& lots of trial and error!) and love there are rewards to parenting and gardening.

Soooo, Happy Mother's Day...let's celebrate our good practices and forgive ourselves for our missteps & the "oops, I hope nobody saw/heard that" moments.

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