Raising a child is a very interesting job. Every day presents you with challenges, with some days certainly being easier than others! The one thing I try to keep in mind every day is that Henry is going to model his behaviour after ours. He is learning how to live and think and be from the ways in which Andy and I interact with him and the world. When I stop to think about it, this is quite an awesome responsibility.
I am happy to say that for the most part we seem to be doing a good job. Henry treats others with respect and kindness. He has a love of nature; collecting leaves, branches and pinecones for the trunk of his little car, but never picking flowers (flowers are to look at and smell, but not pick!). We watch bugs, but never squash them. We hug and kiss and don't hit each other. We are trying to teach Henry to live by the golden rule, 'Treat others as you would like to be treated'. I believe that this one rule will take you far in life.
This is not to say that I never feel frustrated with him. I just try to handle every situation in a way that will teach Henry to be a good person. Instead of yelling at him when he is being a typical independant toddler and doing exactly what I have asked him not to do, I try to correct the behaviour and then when I'm at the end of my rope he hears a lot of, "You're driving me crazy!". The exasperated tone and head shaking for effect usually get him giggling, and then we both feel better.
I always vowed not to yell at or spank my kids. It would be all too easy on the difficult days to lose my temper, but if I can remember the big picture, the frustrations of the moment will pass, the lessons taught by how I handle those moments will last a lifetime.
I am so thankful to have this opportunity. Raising Henry to be a decent human being is the most fulfilling job I can imagine.