I trust Harry and Zinnia Wormwood didn't establish your parenting standards. The 1996 film Matilda, based on Roald Dahl's book, followed a young Matilda Wormwood through her troublesome life as a youth with special powers. Her parents, played by Danny DeVito and Rhea Pearlman, apparently didn't do much reading to prepare for parenthood.
You would think that as long as parenting has been around, humanity would have the details of this monumental task figured out. The book What To Expect When You Are Expecting has the market cornered during pregnancy. But after the birth, there are a million different ways to raise children with an equal number of books offering advice.
Who were the primary influences as you raised your kids?
I read dozens of books, went to as many seminars, and sought much counsel to ensure I did the job right. We did home, private, and public schooling. Supported the kids in various sports and discovered the subculture of traveling track and field over one summer season. The jury is still out, but both kids are young adults, and there is evidence that we didn't entirely fail.
Perhaps it is attributable to TV families such as the Cunninghams, Huxtables, Brady's, Conners, and Bundy's that has contributed to my success. We did the majority of our parenting before the onslaught of reality TV and the Kardashian's.
What parents inspired you? What elements were you successful incorporating into your parenting? What is one thing you were never able to replicate?
Maintaining weekly family times were the bane of my parenting. This scheduled time was supposed to be a ritual that we would look forward to each week. Board games, hot chocolate, catching fireflies, laughter, and the stuff of building memories. The best I consistently gave was the starts and stops of good intentions. And somehow they survived.
Who were your bad examples that you were determined not to imitate? What techniques did you find yourself repeating, despite your best efforts?
Speaker Zig Ziglar shared the guaranteed formula for missing a putt on the golf course. He explained, carefully line up the putt, slow your breathing, pull the putter back, and on the forward swing tell yourself, "I'm not going to miss this putt." It works every time.
Parenting proved to operate by similar cosmic rules.
The news worth celebrating, is that you are doing it!