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Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child

As we are getting closer to summer, Chloe and I are making our plans for what we are going to do this year. I love the fact that she is into being adventurous and that we have a terrifically close relationship. This year she wants to learn how to fish. That should be interesting. I am not sure she will be thrilled about cleaning the fish after it’s caught but we shall see. She has grown into a wonderful young lady and is talented beyond belief. Even through our disappointments and struggles, she manages to shine on. I am so proud of her strength and am honored to be her mother.

I know she struggles with how different her father is than me and I know it’s a hard lesson to learn as a kid. I am very mellow and go with the flow. I rarely raise my voice or get angry. I make jokes often and make up silly songs. I love to live and be present and I hope I teach her that as she is growing up so fast. She talks about how she has a sense of peace when we are together and how relaxed she is when we are on an adventure. So, we plan several so that I know she is having what it is that soothes her soul. From Hiking to road trips, she has an adventure. She gets to learn about life in real-time and with her own eyes. She gets to see poverty, homelessness, how rich people live, various cultures and lifestyles. She learns about the value of meditation and the value of health. The best part is she gets to see how the world really is. We never travel the same routes, rarely use the GPS and there is always something along the way to talk about in terms of life. We chat about how we “are all right”, even though right now it doesn’t feel it. We dream big and we are inspired each and every trip to be better versions of ourselves.

As a parent, I feel she needs to be encouraged to focus on the positives and all that is love. She needs to see with her own eyes the world and all the wonders. In this she is one of the most compassionate people I know. She isn’t told about the world, she gets to experience it. She meets some of the coolest people and the most amazing souls along the way. Their trials, tribulations and healing are what inspire her to be the very best she can be. She needs to see choices and actions. The only thing I can do is provide her with a place of peace, education and joy. She will learn how to cope and navigate the two very different worlds she goes back and forth in.  It has only been 4 years and we have had heartbreak and some major changes but she needs to experience life as it is and learn how to emotionally navigate in a positive way.

My approach is simple, I am her guide. I am here to show her life and to help her navigate in this world. In that approach, she is writing her first book, she gets awards at school for being a Leader and A Good Citizen. She is loved and loving. I do not need to punish her, demean her, or use the “rod” to raise her. I don’t think any child needs that. I guess in some ways she is “spoiled” as most children do not get the opportunities she does. I would like to think of her as Blessed rather than spoiled.

This summer going to be filled with new adventures and super thrilled. We are also planning a trip over seas and mapping, saving and learning about the various cultures we will visit as we travel. She knows it will be a little while longer before we get to go but she is already partially packed. I am grateful for her honesty, care and desire to see the world’s wonders. This will make her a well-rounded women who will go off to do some pretty amazing things.

Will this method of parenting work with every child? Maybe. I don’t know. It works well for us and I always recommend to my parents that opening a child’s mind to adventure opens the child’s heart to understanding and awareness.

Whatever “adventure” means to you go out and have several!

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