amm is truly the best mom. And that phrase is not used lightly. There is nothing that should be changed about how amm parented along side Chas. One has to remember that amm and Chas were a strong team, who raised some okay kids. In particular, the following are just a few ways that amm and Chas chose to handle certain situations, all of which have left lasting impressions on their children.
Choose to fight for things that really matter. I remember a time when I was looking at an old photo album. The pictures captured me when I was about 4 or 5 years old and I had the worst colour/style combination of clothing that one could imagine. Such as wearing jeans with a party dress over top. I asked amm horrified, “Mom, why did you dress me like that?” amm quietly responded with a sly grin, “You chose those clothes for yourself. As long as your clothes were clean, without any holes and fit for the weather, I didn’t argue with you for what you should wear each day.”
Having a child feel a sense of respect and responsibility outweighs what others might think. Back in the days of elementary school I always looked forward to the Scholastic book orders, as amm always let me buy at least a few books. One order I also wanted a poster. It was of a Maine Coon cat surrounded by open paint cans of the primary colours with paw prints all over the walls and the caption was, “Stick around. I may do something brilliant.” After the poster arrived, amm approached me with a project one weekend. She had already framed the poster in a red shiny frame and had cans of paint and sponges. amm said, “Let’s paint our bathroom in paw prints.” And we did. I felt so special that she gave me the responsibility of painting the bathroom… in paw prints. So we spent the day cutting out paw prints in the sponges and dabbing them all over the walls. We hung the poster and amm made a shower curtain to match. Our bathroom is still decorated this way. I am sure many guests have wondered how this particular design scheme came to be, and more importantly ‘why’, but that didn’t even register with amm. She just put her daughter first.
You don’t need to tell your children that they must continue their education after high school. I never remember amm ever telling me that I needed to go to university after high school. I just knew that it was what I was supposed to do. I am sure that any sort of continuing education would have been acceptable too. It’s just that amm’s kids knew that education was so important and was something we needed to do. I am sure it came from amm telling us how her parents were so supportive in her education after high school and how it opened so many doors for her. And the importance of always learning. But never did we ever feel the pressure of needing to go to university. It was just expected of us without her ever telling us what to do. It’s hard to explain, but it was almost instinct.
Don’t influence your child’s wedding plans. Okay, so this parenting technique applies to all things, not just wedding planning, but wedding planning is where it is most apparent in your adult life. 🙂 amm and Charles never told us what to do with any decisions in life. We were always supported no matter what our decisions were. Again, it was like we just knew how to make the correct decisions because we weren’t being told what to do. We always felt supported. I have so many friends who have wedding planning nightmares of their parents influencing the details, but amm and Chas just let us do everything as we wanted and were excited for whatever we chose. Seriously. They didn’t say one thing about our wedding plans…except that they wanted to be invited. (Oh, and if we eloped, they still needed to be invited.)