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How do you spell LOVE?

“Kids spell love T-I-M-E.” ~ John Crudele

Happy National Parents’ Day! Wait- please don’t tell me that you didn’t know that such a day of commemoration existed? According to the website for National Parents’ Day, it was introduced in 1994 by a bill that President Clinton signed into law and that established the fourth Sunday of every July as Parents’ Day for “recognizing, uplifting and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children.”

I think that most parents will agree that the challenges that we are faced with in rearing our children also yield the greatest results. It is an awesome responsibility to bring a life into this world and to teach that child all of the millions of lessons that we want them to learn: love, respect, courage, not kicking the family dog, to name a few. As parents these tasks are certainly daunting and can lead to lots of second guessing of whether or not we are doing a good enough job. Is my son eating enough vegetables? Am I setting appropriate boundaries? Ultimately as parents we need to trust our instincts, laugh a lot, provide our children with unconditional love and celebrate both the big and little successes not only of our children but also of job that we are doing as parents.

Recently in my own home we had cause to celebrate a small success. My two-and-a-half-year-old son, Chase, had a visit from the “Binky Fairy.” This habit was something that my husband and I dreaded having him break. We decided to have Chase place his binkies into a magic bag (yes, my husband went through a magician phase in high school so it really was a magic bag that allows for objects placed inside to disappear). The Binky Fairy then gave the pacifiers to babies that need them and Chase received a gift in return. After telling my husband that we were probably in “for a long night” and bracing ourselves, we heard not a peep from Chase that first night or any naps or bedtimes after. The fact that Chase parted with his pacifiers so easily gave me hope that my husband and I are teaching him the lesson of resiliency.  So, cheers to this small success!

I think that this July 22, 2012 on National Parents’ Day I will request coffee in bed, brunch and time for a solo run as my celebration. Whatever you do today, make sure to celebrate yourself as a parent, both the small and large triumphs that you have had, and all of the important ways that you help to shape the lives of your children.

Angela Hiller, AWP First Response Advocate

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