“That Story Lady”

Angela Scott, Author – Storyteller – Ventriloquist

How to Raise a Good Parent – 7 Lessons My Daughter Taught Me

August 19, 2007

Twenty-one years is a milestone in life, especially for me. I struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder for years before I learned it actually existed and had a name.

The privilege of being her mother for 21 years is one of life’s many blessings. Tears turned into joy and heartache transformed into love. Fear and admiration are among the numerous experiences we have shared.

As the mom, I thought I was teaching her. However, I realize now she taught me seven valuable lessons. These are lessons only my child could teach me. My hope is to share these lessons with you to inspire you to watch carefully and learn from your children, as children can only learn from you.

Listening is the first lesson I encountered. Often painful and tiring, I learned. As I see her young maturity strengthen daily, admiration and love fill my heart.

Time is the second lesson I often mismanaged. Too much to do and little extra time after working five days a week drained me of energy. For more times than I care to recall, I understand now the impact of time-out, time away, vacation time, and the reality of time, which I often took for granted.

Smiling is the third lesson for which I am thankful. A smile melts and diffuses anger. Misunderstanding is easy; smiling through anger and tears is challenging under the best of circumstances.

Integrity is the fourth lesson I experienced. Instead of facing challenges, I often excused myself from life’s experiences rather than making plans with my daughter. When I failed to follow through on promises I made to her, her disappointment reminded me of disappointment I felt internally, although then I was not able to accurately verbalize what I felt.

Memories, the fifth lesson I learned, and forgot numerous times, are fleeting until I began recording her accomplishments on calendars and journals. Photographs documenting those once in a lifetime moments from infancy to childhood refresh my memories.

Precious to me now is the picture of her first steps at the age of nine months. Thrill filled her eyes and body. Her facial expression seemed to announce, “World, just watch me now!”

Of course, the sixth lesson is family. Parents, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, cousins, and next-door neighbors gave intrinsic support which sustains me.

The seventh lesson, love, is the deepest lesson of all. Willa Cather’s quotation, “Where there’s love there are always miracles” concisely describes the miracles I have seen in my daughter.

All these years I thought I was her teacher. Little did I know the lessons my daughter would teach me.

All writings here are copyrighted by Angela Scott. You may not use them without written permission but you may link to the posts or give out a link to the posts.

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