On my daughter’s first birthday, after her party and her first taste of sugar, and after all the guests left, I sat down in the quiet of my house and wrote her a letter. Now, I have a nice stack for each of them, tied with a colorful ribbon. They don’t know they exist, and I can’t wait to give them some day.
What are the origins of your concepts of love and respect? Can you separate the way you desire to parent from unhelpful past models? Much of traditional parenting rests on a hierarchy of power and control. Love is a reward, based on meeting certain conditions. Respect is born of fear. If children fear their parents, they will respect them and obey them, hoping to earn their love by meeting their parent’s conditions.
Rebecca Thompson Hitt and Christy Farr talk about “Uncle Bob” and how to stay in relationship with him while still maintaining your own boundaries so it feels good to you and your family in the process.