Have you ever plucked a strand of spaghetti out of the boiling water and flung it at the ceiling to see if it would stick? I love to do that. And if it sticks then it’s done, or if it falls it’s done or if it sticks and then falls it’s done, or something like that. Well my parenting style is kind of like that. I just keep flinging my parental pearls of wisdom at my children and hope that some of them stick. For example:
1. One day, years ago, while driving my 3 year old to preschool, he suddenly pipes up from his car seat in the back to ask me how water turns to steam. My budding scientist! I start in on a long-winded explanation about molecules getting cold and moving slow and turning to a solid and then heating up and moving faster to form a liquid and heating up a lot and moving fast, turning to steam. I don’t know if this is actually a sound scientific explanation but I figured it was good enough for my 3 year old. Then silence from the back seat; crickets in fact. And then, “Mom, I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
The spaghetti fell
2. My boys are fighting…again. “He said _____! He touched my ______! He looked at my _______!” I talk to them about what being brothers means and how lucky they are to have each other. How they need to treat each other nicely and how we don’t whack each other in this family, for the millionth time!
When they are 12 and 15, my older son has a group of friends over. One of them goes upstairs to play Xbox with my younger son. He comes back down awhile later and says to the big boys laughing, “I made your brother cry.” My older son looks at him briefly and says, “Not cool dude.” He stuck up for his brother, in front of his friends! Yes!
The spaghetti stuck
So, I guess I’ll just keep winging all of that stuff out there about kindness, compassion, safe sex, healthy eating, education, responsibility, blah, blah, blah, and just hope that some of it sticks!