Parenting 101: Encouragement and Accountability

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There are millions of parenting books on the shelves of every bookstore and Amazon warehouse. They all promise to contain the magic elixir that will turn you into the perfect parent with perfect children as long as you follow their blueprints. Unfortunately, almost 30 years of parenting have taught me that there is no such thing as a magic formula and parenting is mostly flying by the seat of your pants.

Often, when people hear how many children I have, they react with either shock or surprise. It is quickly followed with either derision or accolades. Honestly, both drive me nuts. I don’t want or need to justify why I have seven children, nor do I want or need a pat on the back for being brave, patient or whatever people seem to think that I am. I am simply a mom who wants the very best for my children, whatever that means to each one of them.

In my eyes, the goal of parenting is not to raise successful, driven, money-making machines. Parenting is bringing a new life into this world that will hopefully shine a light into the darkness and leave the world a little better than it was. There may be no lasting monument to commercial or material achievements, but becoming the type of person who can lend a hand and a shoulder when it is needed is by far the best outcome I can hope for in raising a child. I am no expert at this task, but I allow my heart and soul to guide me after years of thinking I had to fit a certain mold when it came to parenting correctly.

I realized that the best way for me to truly connect with my children is to be present to them and to hold them accountable for their actions and decisions. I am amazed so often at the depth of love that a mother can feel for her child yet at the same time, I can see them for the individual that they are. I cannot blindly defend a poor decision nor can I accept I half-hearted attempt at school work or chores. A parent has to be tough enough to say do it again and try harder, while at the same time telling them that you believe in them and know they are capable of amazing accomplishments.

I was blessed to be able to spend twenty years homeschooling my children. I know first hand that they are kind and compassionate people. I also know that they are still flawed human beings who will occasionally try to lie or cheat their way through a task. My response is to tell them gently that they are much better than that. They are too wise to try to do less than their best. On the other hand, I don’t demand perfection or straight A’s. I expect only their best effort. No more and no less. For my part, I love and support them completely. No more and no less.

Writer Bio:  Angela Mose

I am a mom of 7 who has successfully homeschooled for 20 years.  I was married for more than 25 years and have recently started my life over. I have a passion for writing and music and when the two can be combined, it is utopia.  A Maryland native, I am planning to relocate north in the near future and will continue to strive to learn and experience new things on a regular basis. I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home while exploring new ways to increase my knowledge and skills and help improve the lives of those around me.

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