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ON THE MOVE
STRIKING A BALANCE W ith Mother’s Day fast approaching, I’ve spent some time reflecting on my childhood. There’s so much that my mother did for me that I didn’t take notice of or properly appreciate as a kid. But now that I’m a parent myself, I find I can relate to my mom a lot more, and I recognize all she’s done for my brother and me.
What My Mother Taught Me About Parenting
“Now that I have to go through the same rigmarole with my kids, I realize what a delicate balancing act my mom had been performing.”
It’s easy to say you appreciate your mother’s support. But until you raise kids of your own, it’s hard to grasp the mundane, everyday challenges parents face. I know I took this kind of support for granted when I was younger.
Yet, in hindsight, this daily routine was largely a thankless job. Oftentimes, the best she would get was to hear my brother or me admit, “I’m glad I did that.” But even this implied that our
Thinking back to when I was a kid, there were a lot of important things I just didn’t want to do. Getting up for school, doing homework, going to basketball practice — it all felt like such a hassle. Thankfully, Mom was there to push me to excel. She put up with my complaining, and when I tried to argue or question her, she had an unassailable response: “Because I said so.” Fair enough. Now that I have to go through the same rigmarole with my kids, I realize what a delicate balancing act my mom had been performing. She wanted me to succeed while teaching me personal responsibility. She had to know when to be firm and when to let me learn a lesson the hard way.
achievements at school or on the basketball court were our own doing. As a parent, I’ve learned not to expect any vocalized gratitude, either. Seeing your kids succeed is its own reward. While I may have resented my mom in the moment for pushing me to succeed, I’m now truly grateful for what she did. Her coaching not only made me a better student and athlete, it helped prepare me for the real world. I can only hope to provide the same for my kids. Fortunately, my mother is in good health. In fact, she lives about five minutes away. We’ll most likely skip the crowds this Mother’s Day and have a nice luncheon at one of our houses. That way, the kids can run around and play with the dog. To all the mothers out there, hats off to you. Your kids may not recognize all you do for them on a daily basis, but I assure you, it will mean the world to them someday. I know it did for me.
It’s hard to be an advocate for your child’s success without being overly controlling. Sometimes you make the right call; sometimes you don’t. And you usually don’t find out what kind of call it was until long after the fact. It’s a balance that I’ve come to realize is extremely hard to get right. But Mom really knew when to hold them and when to fold them.
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Happy Mother’s Day,
–Dr. Robert Morea
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