I have fond memories of being a child and other not so fond. I don't think my parents did a bad job; I just don't think they had the right role models.
You see my dad's parents (my grandparents duh) weren't the type of parents who said "I love you". I don't remember seeing them be affectionate toward one another.
My mom was raised by her grandparents; she had a sister who had died shortly before she was born and her grandparents considered her a gift from god so they wanted to raise her. They took her in when she was 3 days old. Her dad was an alcoholic and her mom was obviously saddened by the loss of her child. It seemed I guess like what needed to be done. But in doing so my mom didn't have a close relationship with her mother. She had to share the attention with 8 kids in which her grandmother had. I am sure it wasn't easy. She didn't really see her mom during this time or growing up. It was only until her children were born (my brother and I) and were growing up did the relationship become close...and then she passed away. I won't go into the details of that but it was a very sad time for my mom.
Fast forward several years and now I am a mother of 2 beautiful children. At first my husband and I decided we were only going to have 1 child. We wanted that child to feel so loved and we wanted to focus all the attention on him...then he turned 5 and asked when his brother or sister was coming so we decided...let's have another. We didn't want to be selfish and have him as an only child; we wanted him to have someone to share life with. When she was born; we both said "What would we have done without her?", we kept thanking our son for his idea to have another child...now she is 3 and he is 9. We try to give them a better life than we had...as parents I think it's your duty to do this. You want your kids to succeed farther than you did, have a bigger house than you did, make more money, and travel to more places. We are honest with our kids; if they ask us a question we tell them the truth. As hard as it may be we sit them down and explain it.
As a parent I try to instill what is right and what is wrong...we fail at times who doesn't. I sit my son down (because at 9 he kinda gets it) and explain I make mistakes just like him, if I am not doing something right, please tell me. If you dont' feel loved...tell me. My husband and I make it a point to tell our children we love them every day, if not 10 times a day. We are constantly loving on them, kissing on them, hugging them...doing things we don't want to do. If we have to reschedule a planned outing because frankly we are tired; we are consumed with guilt and remember what it was like to be a kid and be told no...when you were really looking forward to something, so we suck it up and do it.
My husband isn't your typical husband, we share all the responsibilities 50/50. (except the cooking, he does it all). He tries to set a high standard of what my daughter deserves in a man. They are very close. Something my dad and I weren't when I was growing up. It makes me feel so good inside to see the two of them together.
We instill in our kids that we want them to be great parents; better than we are. We want them to do whatever they want in life and know no matter what happens, we are the 2 people in life who will never judge (except for grades...we only accept A's) and will always be there for them.
I think we have done a pretty great job thus far, my son is very close with his sister. They love each other, they sleep with each other, they laugh together and we are proud of what we have done...not to say it's not going to get harder; but we feel if we keep the same foundation our kids will thrive. We have had hard times believe me! My son understands that because we talk to him about it; we explain what is going on, how we are planning on fixing it, letting him understand our family is a team and will always be a TEAM. That is what we are trying to do differently with our kids.
Thanks MamaKat for the assignment.