Tuesday, February 12, 2008

All about people

I love people. I just cannot help it; people are so interesting.

All mothers know that you put the same ingredients into making those babies of yours, but get entirely different dishes out of them. Oh sure, both of my kids are blond with blue eyes. Both will probably be tall. But they are so different. Zack is left-handed, left brained. An organized soul with a love for math, yet he has an eye for fashion and color. Allie, on the other hand, is all social all the time. With a wicked sense of humor and a sweet word for everyone, she draws people to her like bees to honey--but don't ask her to count them or she will run screaming from the math homework. These differences make them such fun to watch as they grow. Where do they stem from?

This is one of my favorite weeks as a professor. Week 3 of a new semester. By now, I know a bit about my students likes, dislikes, personalities. They have let down the "first date" front and are more comfortable being themselves. Leaders emerge, class clowns offer giggles, slackers try sliding by me with charm--ah yes, the semester has truly begun. And I am genuinely interested in learning about all of them.

The student in me is constantly studying people--live and in books--to learn more about what makes them tick. How much is nature and how much is nurture? Do we moms really have the power to create good students/citizens/people? Can we damage our children beyond repair? I have to say the answer to both is yes. But neither is as easy as society would want us to believe. Raising a good adult is a day in/day out task that is neither easy nor instant. It is, to borrow a slogan, the hardest job you will ever love. And ruining a child is not easy either. It is not because you let them watch too much tv, fed them too much fast food, or left them with a sitter for Cosmo night with the girls. It, too, takes day to day work or day to day neglect to cause to happen. So, have a Cosmo night with the girls, but don't take your little girls to Cosmo night. It is a good first step.

So, darling friends, I wonder: How do you know how to parent? Do you raise your children the way you were raised? Or the exact opposite of how you were raised? Do you feel as if you just flounder along? Do you let common sense be your guide? Or are you, like me, a student of the game?


Unknown said...

Dora, dear, you need to write a book. I'd read it cover to cover, including footnotes. Oh and by the way? I don't really KNOW how to parent. I'm still guessing. *mwah!*

Jen said...

hmmmm...ok well my brain hurts...LOL! I hope I am not damaging my kids...but now you have me 2nd guessing...LOL!

Welcome to Bloggin' by the way...love your new blog!


Nicole Martel said...

yep, i agree, you tell the best stories :)

Renee' Morris-Dezember said...

LOL - lately...I just take one day at a time :)