Raising Davis: Parenting Like Their Parents Did


My mom’s famous line when life took a bad turn was, “This is going to be an adventure!” She would use this expression regardless of the magnitude of the situation. Whether we ran out of gas at the side of the road or her telling us, her three children, that Daddy wasn’t coming home anymore.
Mom is an optimist. No matter what the weather brings, she finds the ray of sunshine.

My dad left home when I was seven years old and I never knew that this was a bad thing. It was presented in such a positive way that it never occurred to me that it was a circumstance to be sad about. With Dad gone, I could come to Mom’s room at night when I had a nightmare and this would, for me specifically, be the ‘upside’ of not having Dad around. She had equally positive points for my older brother and sister. She was right. From my seven-year-old perspective, I was quite happy to snuggle in Mom’s big bed when the monsters of the night came out!

I am an optimist-in-training. It doesn’t come naturally to me as it does to my mom. I have to work at it. My husband, Paul, nicknamed me ‘WCS’ (Worst Case Scenario) because I am always balancing the worst that can happen versus the best that can happen, and figuring if I can handle both extremes before I go for it. Not exactly an optimistic approach. When it comes to Davis, I am trying to model my mother’s look-on-the-bright-side parenting. If Davis has to do something that he doesn’t want to do, I look for the one fun thing to get him on side. An example would be a diaper change. His diaper change table is below a window and if he stands up on the change table, he can see out the window. So, I will encourage a diaper change with, “Let’s see what is going on outside the window – isn’t this fun?” Before he knows it, he is changed and can watch the boys across the street play hockey. He is none the wiser that he has been conned.

This was a gift our mother gave us. A gift I hope to pass along to my son and stepchildren. When they come to me with bad news and sad faces, I hope I will be smart enough to find the one positive point and say with a straight face: “Don’t worry, this is going to be an adventure!” PC

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