Thanksgiving Challenge 2016 Sunday: Gratitude - Beginning Muse

...my mother did something for me that all parents should do for their children. The biggest cheerleader I had was Mother.

Let the words fall where they may as I write, but let them fall. Instead of making a mysterious segue into the topic of gratitude as it relates to parenting with misdirection, I will come out and say it from the very beginning. God has blessed me with a gift to write, and my gratitude knows no bounds to the person who made it possible. As part of the third day of my Thanksgiving challenge, in this article, I am going to give thanks for the gift of writing bestowed upon me by sharing the praise method my mother used to lift my ego to its proper place.

Mother

This is the third article in a seven-day Thanksgiving writing challenge I issued myself and other interested writers. The word of the day is Pilgrim. For the rules, look up Thanksgiving Challenge 2016

Parents Encourage your Children Unapologetically

It first started with Mother, Catherine. As a normal small child, there was nothing that stood out about me from other little boys I thought that would make me exceptional. Mother thought so. Mother told me that I was smart. Each time something would go wrong, she would say, “You are too smart to be acting like that!”

It did not matter what it was. “What, you broke your arm? You are too smart to be doing something like that!” That didn’t actually happen. I am trying to make a point about Mother, so I can move on. l laugh.

So, at a young age, my mother put it in my head that I was an exceptional child and should excel above other people. She did this to a fault. I eventually learned that Mother was crazy and that I was average at best! However, my mother did something to me that all parents should do for their children. The biggest cheerleader I had was Mother. No matter how hard the task or how grim the situation, Mother encouraged me to act with the intention of success.

Because of the confidence Mother placed in my abilities to succeed at the tasks placed before me, I became what she described. So I say it long and loud my mother of me was proud! What a gift of love gave this woman to me to pump my little boy heart full of confidence. Being a single parent for many years, Mother gave me the best gift of her support and encouragement which helped me to overcome trial after trial and meet the emotional dangers of life.

With Mother’s cheerleading, school became the proving grounds. There, I found out that others were smart too. I fell behind and made horrible grades. “You are too smart to be failing school. You are my son, and you can succeed.”

Encouraged Kids are more likely to Succeed!

Mother came from a good place that happens to be important for any child’s ego. In a KidsHeatlh.org article, it states,

When children feel good about themselves, it sets them up for success — in everything from school to friendships. Positive feelings like self-acceptance or self-confidence help kids try new challenges, cope with mistakes, and try again. Taking pride in their abilities and accomplishments helps kids do their best (Developing Your Child's Self-Esteem).

Mother understood the psychology of pushing me to develop talents—not only the ones that come naturally, but those I could develop with practice. Her words of encouragement allowed me to deal with bullying, racism, test-taking, peer pressure and death.

Parental praise encourages creative kids.

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Do you think it is wrong to over exaggerate you kids successes and accomplishments?

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My Seventh Grade English teacher instructed our class to complete a play based on The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. We read the book and watched the movie. We even wrote our own stories about it. In connection with all of those things, I wrote a report about the book. The English teacher took my report and praised it as exceptional. In the back of my mind, her words affirmed my mother’s words. “You are smart. You can write. Of course, you can. You are MY son.”

As I grew, I understood what my mother had done. When I heard praise, it reinforced what I learned at home. Why was I a good boy? Catherine is my mother is why! Why do I believe my writings are important enough to share with others? Because I am smart?

So, gratitude to my mother for being my confidence to do any good thing that of which I could think. In my mind, her voice always helped me make the next decision until her voice became my voice.

Parents who model good attitudes have kids with good attitudes.

Adult Happiness can come from childhood Parental support.

As a man, the voice that encourages my imagination is my own and I find inspiration in the words I write, whether good or bad. I count it all a lesson learned because for years my mother laid the foundation that I am good and smart. Did I falter, ever? Yes. Many times, but I recover with the mantra that I am smart!

Did my ego explode to larger sizes than it should have? Yes. That is the good thing about life. Mother was there to build me up and life had the task of sizing me down to a happy truth.

Am I smart. Yes, but others I know are smarter. Am I good? Yes, but others are better. Do I still think I am great? Yes, that is why I write. I write because Mother said that I am smart. Her encouragement was the catalyst for my growing confidence to do more.

Gratitude, Appreciation, and Gratefulness to my mother for giving me a source of confidence that springs up in continuous renewal to support my ambitions to write. Gratitude to God for placing me in her life to love and grow.

What is it that you are grateful for this year? What can you say is the source of your desire to write?

© 2016 Rodric Johnson

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4 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

Great topic! I'm grateful for family, friends, and the ability to connect with people through my writing. Thanks for reminding me this rainy Monday morning.


Rodric29 profile image

Rodric29 2 weeks ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thanks for reading and commenting. I believe the biggest form of flattery is acknowledging someone's work. I am starting to see that Hubpages is not just about writing and reading other people's work. It is about validating others' potential also. Thanks for that.


Missy Smith profile image

Missy Smith 11 days ago from Florida

This is a wonderful story, Rodric, and very well-written one. I would like to believe that my children think the same way about me as you do about your mother. I assume they do. They excel at their ages of 10 and 16. I am a proud single mommy.

However, as much as I love my own mom, I cannot voice the same when it came to my childhood. I never heard many reassuring words. I think that made me more encouraging to my kids when I became a mother. It's something I feel I always desired, and actually still do not get to this day. I'm not putting Mom down. I don't really think she knew how to be encouraging; she only sees the bleak in every situation. I don't know why.

I'm thankful that what I didn't get in my own life, taught me what I needed to do for my children's lives. :)


Rodric29 profile image

Rodric29 6 days ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Missy, I am glad that you have learned to be a GREAT Mom by encouraging you kids though it goes against what you experienced as a youth. I know some moms who can only think in negatives. It is not that they don't want their kids to succeed, but that they have experienced so much failure that they want to spare their kids by not giving them false hope. They don't realize that they are damaging their kids' self-esteem in the process.

Whether our parents are good at encouragement or terrible at it I would like to believe that most of them love us and want what is best for us. We just need to all be educated on what works for kids, not what we think works for them.

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