Monday, August 1, 2011

Being a parent

When you become a parent, you sign on for all kinds of jobs--
Nurse, Counselor, Chef, Maid, Fashion Advisor, Confidant, Disciplinarian, Tutor, and the list goes on.
But in my opinion there is one title that is one of our most important jobs as a parent-- the job of ADVOCATE.

I have always been Jess' champion; the one that sings her praises and defends her and encourages her and makes sure that she knows that she is loved and amazing even when she does not feel that way. And as a high school principal, I cannot tell you how many parents I have sat across the table from whom I had to REMIND that it was their job to be their child's advocate. Parents get so busy being all those tangible kinds of roles, that we forget the more abstract ones. But being your kid's advocate is not a job you can neglect.

What made me think of this role was a blog post that one of my dear friends (LF) made today about her daughter who would be celebrating a birthday this week. She teased at the beginning of the blog, asking her readers to "indulge her" just this once to change the content of her blog over to her daughter. Many of us answered back in a teasing way, "allowing" LF this one indulgence, but then I read a comment from another dear friend (JD).

JD shared a story about a post she had made about her daughter and an accomplishment that the daughter had achieved this past year; quite a big accomplishment, in fact. Well, long story short, one of JD's friends posted a comment that she felt that it was a bit over the top for JD to BRAG (yes, direct quote) about her daughter and her accomplishment and in fact, she felt a bit put out by the whole thing.

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?! 
What is happening to people?

If we don't toot our kids' horns, who will?
We KNOW for a fact they will be bullied, picked on, teased, and embarrassed during their school years, so isn't it awesome to think that in the midst of all that, they can COUNT on at least one person to always be there, ready to praise, to defend, to encourage and yes, TO TOOT THEIR HORNS!

So to LF and JD--KEEP TOOTING!
(Btw, that is a VERY Texas thing to say, so I hope you get the idea!)
Sing your kids' praises, both big and small, defend them when the world is attacking them, hold their hands when they are nervous, encourage them when they are unsure, and BE THEIR CHAMPION for as long as you have breath in you.
And NEVER NEVER apologize for it!

This is my daughter of whom I am immensely proud and I am not ashamed to say it. SHE ROCKS! 

7 comments:

LadyFi said...

Thanks for your strong and lovely words!

Sonia Marsh/Gutsy Living said...

Your daughter looks very happy and like you.
I agree with your point, except for one thing, it can become irritating when a parent constantly talks about how their kid has such a high GPA, and scored X on this test, and was accepted by all the top schools, every time you meet. Once or twice, but not every single time does she need to be tooting. What do you think?

Mads and Kelli said...

Sonia,
I agree that there are always those parents who take it to the extremes-- usually they are the ones that are living vicariously through their kids.

I just think those parents are compensating for something else...
but hopefully they are the minority.

And also hopefully there is WAY more to "toot" about than GPA... what about some act of kindness their kid shows or some hardship the kid overcame...

TexaGermaNadian said...

Beautiful post! You toot that horn, and encourage others to do as well. Real friends will be thrilled to hear of friends' sons and daughters accomplishments. Others will be blocked from the blog, lol

Megan said...

im all for this!!!!! obviously it needs to be done in a humble manner, but it should definitely be done. i feel like when kids grow up and are at their jobs, many will find they lose this sense of "proud" from bosses and sometimes won't be recognized from people (been there done that recently...that is why i wrote that), so when growing up, it is super important to know that your parents are your #1 fans and always will be. i know that despite my parents not agreeing with half (ok...MOST) of my recent decisions, they still talk about them with people in a proud manner... :)

and your daughter is absolutely GORGEOUS!!!!! id love to hear more about her here and there! she looks like your twin to be quite honest!!!! what a beautiful family!

Archaeogoddess said...

What I don't get is why the "friend" said anything. I mean, if you find it a bit too much, just close the browser and do something else with yourself. Why comment? What's the point? In RL, when I find myself face to face with a braggart of any kind, I just smile and nod and then (and this is the important part) try to never spend time with that person again! Telling them to get over themselves (or their child or their dog or their amazingly perfect life) would make ME the rude a$$ho!e.

Lindsay said...

I love this post! I used to be embarrassed by my mom's incessant 'bragging' when I was a teen, but I have since learned it has made me a confident, brave, and willing to try new things kind of person. PS: Jess is beautiful...but you knew that :)