To be very honest the best parenting advice I ever got wasn’t given to me. I overheard it.
So, the Best Parenting Advice I Ever Got…
I was only a teenager, sixteen years old. This piece of parenting advice came from my very own mom.
I was a rather troubled teenager, I believe most teenagers are troubled. Teens are turning into proper people and it’s a challenge for most of them. There was also some exceptional trauma surrounding my teenage years.
My mom has the gift of raising and treating her three kids very individually to a certain extent. She used to be a teacher and she knows a few things about children and their psychological development. She has an inherent passion for children like most other teachers.
My mother was never very popular among my school teachers. The way she raised us and defended us in thinking differently was not really the “mainstream” way of how things operate in schools.
At the age of sixteen…
At the age of sixteen, I was smoking cigarettes. My mother was fully aware of it. She didn’t approve of it and she certainly wasn’t happy about it. It must have been very difficult for her. She preferred that I smoked where I was safe instead of out on the streets. I didn’t smoke with friends on the school grounds during break times because that was against the rules. I smoked before and after school, even though I knew that smoking was uncool.
My mom received a phone call from one of my teachers to inform her that I have been spotted smoking in the privacy of my boyfriend’s backyard at 7AM while there were no parents to supervise.
This wasn’t news to my mom. I went to my boyfriend’s house to have my coffee and cigarettes before school every morning and there were never parents to supervise at that time of day.
The phone conversation became increasingly heated and then my mom said the most profound words:
“Apply yourself to your own kids.”
(And that, my friends, was the best parenting advice ever!)
By the time my mom realized that I had overheard her, she made an excuse to hang up. I asked what the problem was about, and she told me that the teacher called to tell her about nothing she didn’t already know. She tried to lighten up the situation by telling me a silly joke.
What was Happening?
Was the teacher probably only doing her job? I don’t know? Most parents would probably highly appreciate a phone call like that. Teachers are an imperative part of the community that help parents raise responsible adults.
In my own mom’s case, she was and still is, so close to her kids that arguing the fact that she was in the know about what was going on, is purely an attack on her parenting skill, to me. I can’t say what really happened in that conversation but to me, it sounded like once my mom stood up for herself and/or her child, things turned into a fight.
READ MORE: Am I a mentally ill mom?
The thing is that no parent’s challenge is the same as the next one.
My mom could very well have been the fish that Einstein talks about. She is a Parenting Genius, I’ll tell you that much!
The vast majority of parents are parenting geniuses and I’ll tell you why: because we are all raising different kinds of little geniuses.
But more importantly; “If you judge people you have no time to love them” – Mother Teresa
“Definition” of Mother:
True Definition of Mother:
See “specie”. Then see “greatness”.
Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom and all the other Species of Greatness!
Special thanks to a retired teacher and mom of four from my high school who translated an Afrikaans word for this post. Sometimes real people know things that even dictionaries and online translators are unable to help us with. And that my friends, is what I like to call “The power of knowledge in the age of Google”.
With Love & Gratitude,
*This is not a sponsored blog post
*These priceless images of our 4 Generations shoot were sponsored by Leigh Benson Photography