Sunday, October 25, 2009

Snakes and Parenting

After getting a pet snake a while back, the snake was brought home and placed in a typical display tank. The top on this tank was not the sliding type, but it fastened shut in another way. I was excited. My son was also excited and he had held the little snake for some time when I brought it home. The next day my son showed the snake off to one of his friends and afterwards the top of the tank was not secured properly and the snake escaped. When I found out that the snake was gone I was angry. The more I looked for the snake, the angrier I became. My son apologized for what had happened, but I was stern with him and didn't immediately accept his apology. At that point I guess I was acting more childish than he was. The snake was eventually found, but that really didn't matter.

I learned that what matters most to me is being a good parent . It is important for a child to be the most important thing in a parent's life and that they know it. When a parent causes a child to feel less important than a pet, a hobby, or anything else, that is clear communication to the child. Also, spending more time with an interest than with one's own child can cause this. I believe that when a child receives this communication, it can only be overcome with consistent and improved actions by the parent, because words mean so much less at that point. Looking back on this situation, I learned that if I fail to give adequate instructions to my kid, the consequences are not my kid's fault. The fault is my own. Parents should never punish their kids for things that they haven't been adequately instructed on. Only bosses can get away with that. A good parent is willing to discard an interest or even a career that makes their child feel unimportant.