Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Values I Want for My Son

The right way to parent is the one that will help your child function well within your family. I don't want to wait for agreement from Peter before I pick him up, because I don't want a child who asks permission for everything. That would drive me batty. So I just pick him up for a hug, then put him down when he squirms a bit. :-) I parent to produce a peaceful home, where we can all coexist happily, and to raise a little boy who will hopefully share my values. Here are some of my hopes for Peter (and any children in our future!).

to be Catholic. To love God with his whole heart, to seek to understand Scripture, and to embrace the richness of our Catholic Tradition. To answer God's call in his life and live out his vocation with love. To be a wise steward of his gifts and the world around him. To work for social justice as a means to peace.
This is a tall order! We try to model this in daily life and will teach much of it explicitly as he gets older. I bring him to my volunteer activities and will include him in our "green living" efforts as he grows.
My husband

to be active. To find a way to stay healthy, whether this be through organized sports, individual exercise, or just having fun outside.
We are going to require him to learn how to swim, but that's a safety issue. Aside from that, we just want to expose him to a variety of sports. Right now, we go camping (in tents!) and take walks around the neighborhood. Even saw a frog yesterday!
Enjoying an early thaw

to appreciate the arts. To have a creative outlet and a basic understanding of visual and performing arts. Hopefully vocal or instrumental music will catch his interest, since music is important to my husband and me.
My husband plays guitar, bass, and drums. I sing (all the time). We play lots of cds from different genres. Peter is quite adept at banging on our piano. :-) Not sure yet what we'll do to spark an interest in theater or visual arts, aside from providing props and art supplies.
My husband playing guitar in college.

to love reading. "The more that you read, the more that you'll know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go!" Dr. Seuss So many opportunities open to one who loves to read.
We read to him every day, read on our own during our leisure time, and provide Peter with a bookshelf at his level that he can access whenever he wants. 
Not quite reading yet

to value diversity. We interact with so many people throughout our lives, with different cultures, classes, and ideologies. I want him to be comfortable around those with whom he has little in common. Basically, I want him to be like my Aunt Marty. She can mingle effortlessly with the social elite, but also host a party where no one feels inferior -- the door is open and the beer is cold. :-) (I aspire to be the kind of hostess she is.)
Not sure how to best do this. We're teaching him German and ASL, so that he might learn something of those cultures, but I don't think that's enough. Any suggestions?
Our friend Nicolai, from Germany. He has helped a lot as I learn German!

Really, my hopes for Peter as he grows are quite similar to the prayer I repeated so often throughout my pregnancy: "Lord, may this baby be holy, happy, and healthy."


  1. I think the best way to foster diversity sounds like your aunt's method: invite people of all walks of life into your home, and model hospitality and acceptance.

    Great list of values!

  2. Glad you got your identity figured out and are no longer masquerading as your husband. ;-)
    The challenge is developing real relationships with different types of people. I don't want to use affirmative action (and not just racially) in my friendships, you know?