Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The best parenting advice I ever got

Dennis and I have been following the news story about that woman prison worker in New York who
helped 2 murderers escape. When the story first broke Den knew right away someone inside helped
those criminals get out. He even guessed the scenario…."probably a woman working at the prison who
was complimented and paid attention to by at least one of those 2 prisoners."

Got that one right! Plus, the accused woman said, "He made me feel special." She actually realized
how she was hooked.

This brought me back to the winter of 1984. I was pregnant with my 3rd son, McKay. Bill and I were
attending a birthing class put on by our midwife. After practicing our breathing, the midwife introduced
her husband, who was a licensed clinical psychologist who she said would speak to us on parenting. I
remember feeling the need to wrap this up and get on our way that Saturday morning. I thought we had
just come to brush up on our birthing skills.

But what that psychologist said to us has remained with me to this day. I have heard his words echoing
in my head probably a gillion times over the many years as I raised my sons.

It was just one line I remember. (This was 31 years ago!) He said, "Next to food and shelter, our 
biggest need is significance." 

Or as my mother use to say, "There is no such thing as a bad child, only an unhappy one."

Feeling significant won't solve everything, but it sure could have helped that female prison worker in
New York. After all, significance is nearly as powerful as our need to eat.


Richard said...

You're very wise for an older person.

Anonymous said...

I think it's safe to say that our kids clearly believed they were "significant". And as they grew up, and the family grew, they learned that SO IS EVERYONE ELSE! A very important life lesson.

Grandma Honey said...

GOOD point Darlene! I think we are able to give more to others if our own bucket was filled as a child. But some are in such pain as adults. they can't see beyond that.

Heidi Ballas said...

I read this and a lightbulb went off! This is the common thread throughout my childhood memories of you, Jill: you made me feel like I mattered. Not that my own parents didn't, but I wanted to take this moment to tell you that you definitely are good at making others feel significant. Thank you!!

Grandma Honey said...

Wow, thank you Heidi! You have always been very easy to love.

Anonymous said...

That, too, what Heidi said.

Karen Mortensen said...

Great advice.

Scrapally said...

Sage advice. Everyone needs to know that, not just parents... Smart Den to figure out what happened. crazy story!

Susan Anderson said...

I agree with his words, but I love your mom's even more. It's so true.