"Smile. Look them in the eyes. Give a firm handshake. Smile. Speak loud and clearly. Be engaging. Smile."
These are some of the insightful suggestions from my father in regards to meeting people. He would pass on this sage advice after our failed attempts at social encounters, in an attempt to prepare us for life in society.
It is advice that I am thankful for on a daily basis...and advice that I try to instill in my own children as I prepare them for life on their own someday. This great bit of teaching is the foundation for friendships, acquaintances, social settings, and anything in between. Smile. Be engaging. BE CONFIDENT!Growing up is tough. Not only is this process extremely difficult for the children undergoing these dramatic transitions, but it is also exceedingly excruciating for the parents raising these youngsters. Our children go from relying completely on their parents in infancy...to trusting in everything they do and say in childhood...to questioning a bit of their reasoning in teenage years...to dismissing them altogether in young adulthood. It's a dramatic transition that is difficult on all fronts.
The method of growing up is disheartening, but necessary. Children are made aware through time and experience that their parents are fallible. The people who they looked up to at the highest have failed the expectations. But in the end, there is only one who is completely honorable, lovable, and pure...it is God.
Even though it is so extremely difficult for all parties in the family to go through this transition, it is necessary. Parents are sinners. They make mistakes in daily life, in marriages, in raising children. And this is what scares me in regards to the way my children will view me when they grow just a bit older...that I am a not what they once thought. That I fail in so many ways as I try to teach them the ways to tackle life.But I do pray and hope that after they have realized that I am indeed fallible, that they will also realize that I have tried my best. And although it was not good enough, it was all that I could give at the time. That I thought hard about the important points...and that I failed miserably at others. That I am far from perfect. But I loved them unconditionally...through every SINGLE day of their lives.
For that is how I perceive my parents this day. That they love me...and I love them...unconditionally. For the term "unconditionally" is the only way we could love anyone...and the only way God could love his children.
God has blessed me to forget most of the downfalls, but to focus on the numerous abilities that my parents have taught me to tackle each and every day on this earth. For they are God's children...and they have taught me well.
I pray that my children will think the same regarding us when they are older...