Our first interaction with our child is met with pain and we are told that this is “good pain.” Well that’s an oxymoron if I have ever heard one. The pain that we experience is the result of “labor”. Think about it – labor – work. And so it begins – work, years of work.
Now you have been thrown into the role of parent. No manual, and there isn’t an “app” that I know of or have heard of for it yet. If nothing else, what do you perceive that role to be? Your thoughts, feelings and intuition regarding this will have an everlasting effect on the life that you have just been given responsibility over. It is an overwhelming charge. As time passes, other people will enter your child’s life and you should consider the impact you would like them to have on him or her. This particularly rings true when your child enters the school environment.
Over the course of years as a parent and an educator, I have learned that my roles in both venues overlapped. When working and raising children, I experienced the importance of observing, listening and cultivation. All of these take time and patience but the rewards for both you and your child are priceless.
Observing and listening are important but it is the knowledge that you acquire by the use of those two senses that play a major part in the cultivation of his or her interests creating a love and desire to learn something that has meaning. Cultivation by definition is to promote or improve the growth of, by labor and attention. There is that word again – labor. So when do those labor pains stop? – I would have to say not for a very long time.
I am the proud mother of three boys all for whom I have spent years observing, listening and cultivating interests. My oldest son from a very early age had an insatiable curiosity for science particularly outer space. He is currently employed as an aerospace engineer. My middle son has the most artistic eye when it comes to photography. He finally is realizing that is is not just mom boasting of his talent. When he came home for his winter break, I had used his photography to decorate his room. I found him laying on his bed looking at his work. He turned to me and said I never realized how good these photos really were. My youngest son loves science as well but has a knack for imparting knowledge and has exhibited that aptitude for quite a while. His ability to break things down to make them truly understandable has led him to pursue a career in teaching. He is combining his two loves by wanting to become a Physics teacher.
There are times in our lives as parents and educators that are challenging. We encounter obstacles and there are times filled with doubt. No one ever said it was going to be easy. With patience, love and the desire to see your child happy with what he or she chooses to do for the rest of their lives, you will find those labor pains all worthwhile.