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All I can do is encourage

05 August 2013

Good morning and happy Monday! I'm joining my friend Lauren at Simply Free with the coffee and conversation link-up.

Coffee & Conversation

What is something you strongly believe in but maybe don't speak up about often? Why do you believe this and what causes you to keep quiet about it?

This is such an excellent question! And a hard one at that. The reason being is that I feel that I'm pretty transparent as a person [almost to a fault]. But one thing that I feel very strongly about it parenting. I am not a parent yet but I can't stand for injustice against children by their parents. 

In my workplace, science often comes before family life on the list of priorities. I've witnessed even the most jovial scientists (who have kids) and really advocate for students, toss their children and their needs aside for their own success. Disgusting.

We were at a small gathering outside of work with some pretty key people in my husband's department and all this person's daughter wanted to do was show her daddy her pajamas and sit next to him on the couch. This three year old had to ask about 25 times for her dad to pick her up before he even flinched. And he was too distracted and probably intoxicated to notice. That person shouldn't be a parent. On top of it, I lost total respect for this person and will never look at them the same way again.  

Similarly, when I was in college I was at a wedding with my ex-fiance. He was an RA and it was an RA wedding so EVERYONE in the staff community was there. Well, the Resident Director had one son, a two year old and it become evident that the boy wanted nothing to do with his father. I watched the mom struggle with the two year old on her hip the whole night until finally she asked her husband to hold his son so that she could use the restroom and fix herself a plate (since we had all pretty much eaten). While sitting at a table of 21 year olds (and possibly reliving his former glory) he hesitated but agreed. The boy screamed and cried and wanted nothing to more than to be with his mom. I took this to mean that he never knew his dad because dad is never around. Even worse, to calm the boy down, he gave him a little bit of beer to drink while the entire table of 21 year olds erupted in laughter! Disgusting. That person shouldn't be a parent. 

It is my understanding that when you become a parent, you put your child's needs and priorities above your own. Does that mean that it is all one sided and you never make a decision for yourself again? Well, no. But it irks me when there is no obvious effort out of these two stories that I've mentioned. Children are a gift and should be treated as such. Does this mean that they aren't annoying or that parents shouldn't be frustrated? NO. But if the fruit is rotten, the first thing I'd do is go back to the tree or the soil.  

Why don't I speak up? Parenting is one of those things that becomes none of my business because it is not my child and I have no authority in how to parent their children. Sure I get to spend time with my 6th and 7th grade students on Sundays and Wednesdays and offer some sort of guiding light but I'm not their parents. All I can do is encourage. I encourage the mom who is sweating through her child's temper tantrum at the grocery store. I encourage the dad who is holding his daughter or wearing a princess crown because she asked him to. I encourage the children who don't feel connections with their parents in middle and high school to keep an open relationship with them because it is so important despite differences in opinion. All I can do is encourage. 


  1. I am not a mother either BUT I can totally relate to you on this. It actually makes me super upset when I hear or see things such as the first example. Actually that first example kind of hurts my heart a little. But, like you said, there isn't much you can do to change the situation other than encouraging.

    1. I know! It just breaks my heart. And I lose all respect for that person.

  2. Awesome post. I agree. I dont get now a days how parents parent their kids.

  3. I see a great deal of this in my field - there are the awesome parents, and then not so much. I agree, all we can do personally is encourage and train those children up in our lives as if they were our own until we have our own! And to encourage and love the parents as well, provinf an example of what it should look like.