I'll show up at every classroom open house and teacher conference,' she said, now in a voice that was almost frightening in its intensity. 'I'll bake brownies. My child will have new clothes. Her shoes will fit. She'll get her shots, and she'll get her braces. We'll start a college fund next week. I'll tell her I love her every damn day.'If that wasn't a great plan for being a good mother, I couldn't imagine what a better one could be.
Don't go overboard in praising required behavior: 'We have only done our duty' (Luke 17:10). But do go overboard when your child confesses the truth, repents honestly, takes chances, and loves openly. Praise the developing character in your child as it emerges in active, loving, responsible behavior.
There are no moments more painful for a parent than those in which you contemplate your child's perfect innocence of some imminent pain, misfortune, or sorrow. That innocence (like every kind of innocence children have) is rooted in their trust of you, one that you will shortly be obliged to betray; whether it is fair or not, whether you can help it or not, you are always the ultimate guarantor or destroyer of that innocence.
He thought about the story his daughter was living and the role she was playing inside that story. He realized he hadn't provided a better role for his daughter. He hadn't mapped out a story for his family. And so his daughter had chosen another story, a story in which she was wanted, even if she was only being used. In the absence of a family story, she'd chosen a story in which there was risk and adventure, rebellion and independence.
Training moments occur when both parents and children do their jobs. The parent's job is to make the rule. The child's job is to break the rule. The parent then corrects and disciplines. The child breaks the rule again, and the parent manages the consequences and empathy that then turn the rule into reality and internal structure for the child.