My favorite parenting advice

Just like everyone else, I have received a lot of parenting advice. Some of it was solicited, some wasn’t. Some of it is good, some I’ll probably never follow.

Here are a few things shared with us:

“Always be consistent in  your punishment. That’s the biggest thing. Consistency.”

“Never correct a child when they try to talk, that will make them afraid of making mistakes. But don’t mimic their incorrect speech. Just speak correctly, and they will learn to speak correctly over time.”

“Remember that the greatest thing you can show your child is how much you love your wife.”

“Make sure when you have more than one child, that you take time with each one individually. Respect and love their differences.”

And I don’t know of this counts as advice, but one item I have most appreciated hearing from seasoned professional parents is simply: “Yeah, that’s totally normal.”

My absolute favorite advice came from, Johnny–a good friend of mine. We were catching up on g-mail chat, and he simply said  something like:

“You know, I don’t do everything right as a dad, but one thing I’m happy that I have done is create email addresses for each of my sons, and every Sunday I take a few minutes to write them to tell them what it is like raising them. During the week I try to think of things I can tell them, then jump on the computer and write it out… I include attachments, pictures, etc. Then one day, I’ll turn the passwords over to them, and they can read through their emails and see what they were like growing up.”

What an amazing idea. I have often wondered what it was like for my parents to raise me during different stages of my life. What was I like as an infant? A 1 or 2 year old? What was I like in kindergarten? I have pictures, but what kinds of things did I say, do?  At what point did I show signs of what I would be in the future?  What were things that I did that provided feelings of pride to my parents? What things were heartbreaking?

Then a couple of months after I got started emailing my son, I happened to see this video from Google:

BTW, my conversation with Johnny was on 4/14/2011… This video was posted 5/2/11. So apparently, Google DOES monitor those g-chats. 🙂

But seriously… this has been the advice that has been the most fun to follow. I send my son pictures, video, and long letters of what he’s like to raise. I try to detail every major development. I’m not perfect about writing him every week, but I do my best. One day, maybe I’ll share his email address with some family members–maybe on his first or second birthday–and ask them to send him an email as well.

I envision one day when he’ll appreciate it, maybe when he’s about to become a dad of his own, I’ll turn over the password and let him read through his gradual progression as a son, and me as a dad.

I hope he likes reading them as much as I have liked writing them.

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8 Comments

  1. Your sis

     /  February 13, 2012

    Are you kidding me?! He’ll LOVE it! My daughter still loves to hear stories about herself as a baby. Same ones over and over too. She doesn’t care. Just stories about herself.

    In fact, I STILL like hearing stories about myself growing up.

    And, nice to see a bit of advice that comes direct from ME on there! 🙂 Makes my day! Good times, good times.

    Reply
    • Craig

       /  February 13, 2012

      Yep! Not sure if we will ALWAYS follow that one, but it is sound advice, and I can see the logic behind it. 🙂

      I’m glad to hear you think he’ll love it…. let me know if/when you take pictures you’d like me to send to him!

      Reply
  2. Johnny

     /  February 13, 2012

    Funny you should mention soliciting others to write to your son. I tell Jamie from time to time, “Email him that story!”

    Reply
    • Craig

       /  February 13, 2012

      Ha! Glad to see you have the same battle with Jamie. I’m always asking Ange to write him… But usually it’s at about 11:30 when her eyelids are starting to drop.

      Reply
  3. I too have email address for both my children, created the first one in 2008. I’ve enjoyed the digital time line it creates for video and pictures as well as a place to journal or write down those funny moments. The ability to create a visual family history is so powerful and so easy. Since getting an iPhone we shoot the majority of all video from our phones, but love that it can easily be shared.

    Reply
    • Craig

       /  February 13, 2012

      I agree Kathy, it’s so much easier with my phone…and it WOULD be even easier if I had an iPhone, but… alas…. 2 more months till my tMobile contract runs out!

      Reply
  4. I have done this with my daughter, Avery. Just make sure you backup that email account often. Most email providers require you to be at least 13 to have an email address. I have a friend who’s son lost his Gmail account because they figured out that he was too young.

    Reply
    • Craig

       /  February 21, 2012

      That’s ironic, given the fact that the commercial is for a gmail account.

      Reply

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