What were you taught/told when you were a kid that in adult life you wished you'd listened to?

Remember your child's whole life is moulded in the first few years, even months...

If your child's basic needs are met, and she receives lots of love, attention and stimulation, then it is likely that she will grow up a happy person.
If your child's basic needs are met, and she receives lots of love, attention and stimulation, then it is likely that she will grow up a happy person.
It is important for parents to understand that their child's personality is more dependent on what their child learns from them than anything that is inherited.
It is important for parents to understand that their child's personality is more dependent on what their child learns from them than anything that is inherited.
Many features of your child's personality will affect her future prospects such as the ability to relate to people and rub along; to learn from mistakes,
Many features of your child's personality will affect her future prospects such as the ability to relate to people and rub along; to learn from mistakes,
the willingness to muck in and work hard: the power to observe, concentrate, enquire; the ability to be creative, thorough, determined, ambitious.
the willingness to muck in and work hard: the power to observe, concentrate, enquire; the ability to be creative, thorough, determined, ambitious.
Parents can do much to strengthen inborn traits such as independence, responsiveness, thoroughness, a placid nature, self-reliance.
Parents can do much to strengthen inborn traits such as independence, responsiveness, thoroughness, a placid nature, self-reliance.
Parents must take responsibility for wittingly or unwittingly imposing their own character traits on their children.
Parents must take responsibility for wittingly or unwittingly imposing their own character traits on their children.
An impatient parent rarely has a patient child.
An impatient parent rarely has a patient child.
A difficult child often has a difficult parent. A difficult child often is responding normally to a difficult family set-up.
A difficult child often has a difficult parent. A difficult child often is responding normally to a difficult family set-up.
A placid parent who takes everything in her stride is very unlikely to have a difficult child.
A placid parent who takes everything in her stride is very unlikely to have a difficult child.
To be happy, our children have to make good personal as well as social adjustments.
To be happy, our children have to make good personal as well as social adjustments.
In a culture such as ours where social life is very complex, personality is important.
In a culture such as ours where social life is very complex, personality is important.
As parents, we are called on to play many roles in our children's lives.
As parents, we are called on to play many roles in our children's lives.
One of the most important is to create a loving and stimulating environment for our children.
One of the most important is to create a loving and stimulating environment for our children.
Another is to monitor their healthy development and encourage in them a good self-image,
Another is to monitor their healthy development and encourage in them a good self-image,
though we know of no single factor that is absolutely essential to help our children develop this.
though we know of no single factor that is absolutely essential to help our children develop this.
But what we do know is that consistent unconditional acceptance, concern, sympathy and respect, maintaining a sharing, dignified relationship...
But what we do know is that consistent unconditional acceptance, concern, sympathy and respect, maintaining a sharing, dignified relationship...
and encouraging freedom and independence with clearly defined limits are certainly the best bases from which to build one.
and encouraging freedom and independence with clearly defined limits are certainly the best bases from which to build one.
Understanding how children's minds and feelings work is at least as important as understanding how their bodies work.
Understanding how children's minds and feelings work is at least as important as understanding how their bodies work.
A child starts to absorb information from the moment he or she is born, and it is from parents that a child gets most of his or her information.
A child starts to absorb information from the moment he or she is born, and it is from parents that a child gets most of his or her information.
The changes that occur  from birth to five years of age are the most dramatic and also it is the only time that parents are the most important people in children's lives.
The changes that occur from birth to five years of age are the most dramatic and also it is the only time that parents are the most important people in children's lives.
As parents, we are called on to play many roles in our children's lives, but the most important part we play is at the start of their journey.
As parents, we are called on to play many roles in our children's lives, but the most important part we play is at the start of their journey.
It is not easy for children to understand the adults, but it is sometimes hard to understand the child's world. If you miss their first years you may never find the way to decode it....
It is not easy for children to understand the adults, but it is sometimes hard to understand the child's world. If you miss their first years you may never find the way to decode it....

My Grandmother

has told me once:

"Everything you need

for parenting is already inside you,

trust your intuition

and follow your heart."


When I was eleven years old,

my Mother

I didn't know

came to collect me

from the Grandmother's house.


I never forget my first doctor's visit

with my Mother,

"Any childhood illnesses up to five

you know about?"

He asked casually.

"I don't remember,"

I looked at my Mother.

"Me neither," she nodded quietly.

"Granny would know," I screamed out.

The doctor looked up

from his notes alarmed.

"I don't think so, she is too old and didn't write

anything down." My Mum replied.

"What about her Father?" The doctor asked.

"He emigrated when she was still a baby,

the enemy of the state he is now."


I ran away from my Mother

back to my Grandmother's house.

Found her lying in her bed,

her eyes closed.

"Do you remember me when I was a baby?"

I shook her violently,

but she didn't respond.

"I would never have children of my own,

to become 'mother' like mine."

I cried next to her.

She whispered something

I put my ear close to her mouth.


"I don't believe you,"

I ran out

banging the door

loudly

behind.


"Parenting helps children

to build their creativity

and self-esteem,

to express their innate joyful selves

and prepare them

for leading a fulfilling life."

I had memorized,

preparing for my 'Teaching Degree'

while pregnant with my first child.

What about the feeling

of security and love?

I wondered for myself,

but then,

hushed my thoughts away,

'Knowledge is the key.'


Before my first child was born,

I was worried,

so many questions to ask:

"Will I be a good parent,

do I manage?

Can I ever prepare to do enough

to help my child

become

well-integrated

and joyful human being?"

I collected all the books

about parenting

from a local library

and studied up to late at night.

I woke up exhausted

and sick next day,

not wiser.


Early morning sickness

caught me unaware

commuting

in overcrowded

slowly moving bus.

Asked a grumpy bus driver to stop

to get out

ending up

in grey

cold

winter drizzle

finding refugee

in a rundown bus stop shelter

waiting another hour

for another slow and rusty

overcrowded bus.


The shelter's walls were painted red,

a huge 'hammer and sickle' sign

with a Russian flag

dominated the sight

like everywhere else.

Then my eyes stopped on a little placard

with Chinese proverb:

'Life itself can not give you joy, unless you really will it.

Life just gives you time and space - it's up to you to fill it.'


Back home, after a long day work,

I opened the book 'Your First Five Years'

I started to write

expressing love

for my neo-natal child,

and added the Chinese proverb

on its cover page.

I smiled somehow more confident,

preparing the family surrounding,

to be similar to his or her seed bed,

warm, quiet, save and comfortable,

but filled with love and impulses,

the best gift I could give it to her.


And then my daughter was born,

in the tiny hospital

somewhere in the Eastern Europe.

I just heard her tiny cry

and stretched my arms towards the sound.

To be told off by a strict nurse,

that every baby must be first

weighed and washed,

had drops in the eyes,

dressed on the cord stump,

examined physically

and had a cot to lie in.

"All these things must be done,

but why must they be done right now?"

I pleaded, to no avail.

The emotional attachment

was not a priority

in that Communist age and time.


The first week,

I wrote in her special book.

'You and me at hospital,

seeing you only at feeding time,

still the ways you behaved,

taught me how to be more gentle,

before you were snatched away.

I taught myself to be more relaxed.'

"To recognize the cause of crying is the first thing,

which should be done."

I copied these words down

from one of those many books

I finally piled up and returned to library.


In the second week,

I draw a happy face in her book.

'You at home,

and I realized your crying

is your way

of communication.

I use my voice,

my heart beat

to calm you down.'


'In six weeks

you have changed

from a totally unpredictable

to a person with tastes,

preferences and characteristics

of your own.

You are settled,

you are who you are

and you will be for the rest of your life.'


'As these first few weeks passed,

your interests in people

becomes increasingly obvious.

Faces fascinate you.

Every time the face

comes within your short focusing range

you study it intently form hairline to mouth,

finishing by gazing into the eyes.

One day it finishes with your first true social gesture - SMILE.'


This is the page my daughter liked the most,

and asked me to read it over and over

while growing up from a toddler to a very inquisite child,

long after passing her five years,

with the last page of her book lovingly filled in.


She was twenty-five,

pregnant with her first child,

when she opened her book again,

touching gently my handwriting,

under one of the many black and white happy snaps,

I took while she explored

the world around on her own.

'Feeling joy is a choice we make.

It's a natural choice,

as a parent I can not give you more

than to encourage you with activities

that connect you with your inner joy.'


My pregnant daughter looked at me

with a big question in her eyes,

and I whispered quietly into her ear:

"Everything you need

for parenting is already inside you,

trust your intuition

and follow your heart."



More by this Author


Comments 42 comments

Marsei profile image

Marsei 4 years ago from New Orleans

This is one of the most touching, meaningful articles I have ever read anywhere. Your fear of parenting, apprehension about being "good enough," and determination to be a good mom resonate with every word. The end of the article is a testament to the job you did, a child who wants the same for her children: joy. All the reading, wondering, preparing came to fruition in a wonderful way.

I was very moved by this hub. I was 20 when I had my first chld and "unaware" of what it meant to be a mom, very immature. My children fared well, but not because of anything I did. I admire so much the fact that you took the job as a sacred task, which, indeed it is.

Thank you for writing this. Every soon-to-be mom should read it.

marsei


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

Beautiful article again Beata, I don't know how you have the patience to download all the pics. Do you have a special system?

Bob


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

thanks, guys for your quick responses, I just like to weave creative stories and images together on topics that interest me and as a teacher and mother, raising children is one of them...and no, Bob, there is no secret to my downloading, as a teacher of students with learning difficulties I have an excessive amount of patience and I am good in multi-tasking, before all the pictures are done, I have a dinner ready for my family as well:)


healthwriterbob profile image

healthwriterbob 4 years ago from United States

Hi Beata,

This is a great hub. The things you point out about what children get from their parents, and how children respond to their parents' behavior remind us that raising children is a job that comes with a lot of pressure to do it right. Every great country is built on the family unit--parents raising their children to be good citizens. I agree with you that the instructions for being a good parent are not found in a book but rather are inside each of us. Voted up and interesing.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you dear 'Bob number 2', it is great to get a warm response straight away just when you finish that last touch on your new hub:) Parenting is really, really hard commitment and whatever you do, there is no guarantee you will get it right at the end, but you have to give your 'best shot, be there for your kids, but let them to be who they are'....hopefully they will come back and realize that home is only one:)


kj force profile image

kj force 4 years ago from Florida

Very dear to the heart hub..I have always said the definition of the word "apparent" is something that happens when you become one!Now that I am helping to raise my grandchildren, I wished that I had them first,as the job ( of raising them) is much easier than when I raised their parents...however..wouldn't trade any time spent with either..I am having so much fun watching them grow and learn..( both parent and child).

Enjoyed the hub immensely ! thanks...


kj force profile image

kj force 4 years ago from Florida

oops..forgot to answer the question you proposed..duh..

I wished I had taken my Nanna's advice about making decisions with your mind and not always the heart.I did eventually later in life take her advice and have learned to prioritize and throw out the garbage and extra baggage.Love and laughter,having both in yourself is the "key" to success and happiness, so said Nanna !


suzzycue profile image

suzzycue 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

A beautifully writen and helpful hub. I enjoyed all your photos and really liked your image behind the windows. Like the reflection you reflected your love to be a parent. Well done.


Jackwms profile image

Jackwms 4 years ago

A very insightful hub. My ex wife and I were only nineteen years old when our first was born. It was definitely a period of uncertainly and trial and error. My mother died 58 years ago, before our first son was born, but her messages of loving, giving and sharing were embedded. I think healthwriterbob (above) calls it correctly.


Craig Suits profile image

Craig Suits 4 years ago from Florida

You have enormous talent. This is an astounding hub...


TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

Absolutely beautiful and a perfect "how to" for being a parent. Voted up and all.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida

This is probably the best and most knowing piece of advise given to mothers to be and children who think we parents know nothing!

My son, who is now almost 20, had ADHD most of his life. I divorced his dad when he was six and that led to separation anxiety, conduct disorder and blaming me. We went through a plethora of(expensive) remedies/remediations. My son went thru what I call his "dark" years, from age 10 until age 15, when his dad died of cancer. I never gave up on my boy because I knew his soul. I knew his smiling, trusting, happy face as an infant and toddler. I just had to keep working until he would "let it out" and let his soul come forth once again.

Our job as parents is the hardest job in the world. But it's also the most rewarding!

Never, ever give up on your children! The souls they became when being nurtured in your body need to be fed outside the womb. Trust in yourself and your children will, eventually again, trust in you!

Amazing hub, Beata! Voted up and awesome and all things good!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, my fellow hubbers for your genuine and beautiful responses full of wisdom and your all heartfelt and hard-earned life experiences....I will keep writing just to get 'responses like yous, all the time:) 'LIfe is worth sharing and life is worth living', this is the message we keep echoing in every worthy subject we touch, with every writing we write or respond to...again thank you and the most importantly, keep hubbing and responding:)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Beata,

I think that it is beautiful that the words your grandmother passed on to you were eventually passed on to your daughter. Your very soul shines through your wonderful writings and words of advice with regard to rearing children in the best possible manner. Up votes and sharing this with my followers.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country

Yes-- agreeing with the earlier commentors-- beautiful and meaningful. You have passed along a spiritual truth, that is available to all who open themselves to the possibility of love.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

This is such a good bit of wisdom for parents and children. Our parents do train us for the many things that life bring our way. Your grandmother must have been a very wise woman to have shared like this. Thanks for the enjoyable read.


Craig Suits profile image

Craig Suits 4 years ago from Florida

There is no doubt that not listening and learning English as well as I should have has given me untold grief over the years. I'm 70 now, published two books and working on a third that will hopefully become a movie.

I self published my first 711 page book called "Up One Level". It took about three years to write and at least a year to correct the spelling and punctuation mistakes. Spell checkers don't do near a 100% job of correcting mistakes.It's a real, major pain in the butt when you have to stop and look up the spelling of simple words. Hell, twice today I tried to find how to spell "familure" that doesn't even show up in spell checkers the way I'm spelling it.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you so much, my fellow hubbers for the outpour of all of your great and warm messages, if my Grandmother had been alive, she would be happy, but she spoke Slovak,Russian, German and Hungarian and not English and all those allocades would loose their power once translated:)

Dear Craig I fully understand your frustration, but I am the last person on the Earth to help you with your enquiries, the English is not my native language and it is just one of few foreign languages I have managed to learn somehow, although not to very satisfactory degree....the 'scattered images in my mind' - or free narrative poetry as some kind-hearted hubbers call it, is my little creative effort to express myself in English as freely and genuinely as possible and pray that 'my readers will be kind enough to overlook my little mistakes':)


Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

A beautiful hub, touched my heart. "Everything you need for parenting is already inside you" - how true. Lovely thoughts and feelings about being a parent. Voted up. Awesome.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

What a beautiful poem! Very touching and awesome. You´re right, " Everything you need for parenting is already inside you". I love this message. Thanks for sharing.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, 'Vellur' and 'Thelma', my Grandmother was right, and she would be very happy to know that so many great people all around the world agree with her...'knowledge is power, the wisdom gained from experience is your armour to protect yourself and your power' - another of her saying, loosely translated to English:)


Starmom41 4 years ago

this is one of the most wonderful hubs I've read!!!!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, 'Starmom', I am very honoured, happy that my effort was worth of attention and your praise...all the best with your hubbing and come back again:)


izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest

INteresting and well written hub. I think more of the things that I was taught as a child and shouldn't have listened to. IN my 30's now and wow were there a lot of things my parents were wrong about. Glad I've found my own way in life.

I enjoyed your captions under the pictures and it's all very true. My daughter is turning 5 and I wonder if I did right by her. I just had a baby and its sad that I have less time for her right now in the last few months of this pivotal time in her life.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

First of all, thank you izetti for stopping by and leaving this beatifully honest comment, it is never easy to be a good parent but I think we are our own worst enemies, our expectations are so high and we beat ourselves up for any little mistakes....just enjoy it izetti, it is two ways road, our children and us sometimes we bump into each other sometimes we walk parallely in a perfect embrance...we learn from each other and it is knowledge that is never forgotten with all those good and bad experiences in one treasure well...


mosaicman profile image

mosaicman 4 years ago from Tampa Bay, Fl

Wow, powerful quote at the end. I think what liberated your daughter from her doubts and fears was knowing that you gave her your stamp of approval. Believing in someone at times is worth more than gold.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Very true, dear 'mosaicman', very true and we all are guilty from time to time to use too many negative comments but use praise and approval sparsely:) Thank you for your valuable comment and hope you visit me again:)


Apology4Wolves profile image

Apology4Wolves 4 years ago from Kentucky

Cool poem.


hirundine profile image

hirundine 4 years ago from Nelson, B.C. Canada

If wishes were horses, we would all ride ..... thanks granny!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thanks my fellow hubbers for stopping by:)...we all have to start somewhere and 'have a wish' is a good way to start:)


Gerg profile image

Gerg 4 years ago from California

Beautifully expressed life lesson, Beata - thank you for sharing such authentic and inspiring words of wisdom.

G


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, Gerg, always happy when someone finds a piece of my writing useful:) All the best with your hubbing and looking forward to hear from you again:)


Alayne Fenasci profile image

Alayne Fenasci 4 years ago from Louisiana

I have tears in my eyes. I have such a book for my small daughter, but rarely do I write such personal and unique things in it. I believe I shall begin to do so. My son, who is not my son, asked me a few days ago if there was such a book for him. He came to me a year ago at age 7. I know there is no such book for him. But I told him yes, I will find it. So I dug up photos his grandmother took, put pages in a notebook with pictures and his birth details, and showed it to him. Told him there would be more pages soon. And there will be. "Thank you Mother," he said. He will never know I invented the book. I want him always to believe someone found those things important as they happened. It will lend him confidence.

These things, evidences of love, pieces of one's own past, make the future different. Your daughter is different because she had you to make a book, but more than a book, a reality of love. My daughter, and hopefully my son, though he is not my son, will have the same from me. I certainly try.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

That is so moving, dear Alayne and I am very honoured you shared your beautiful story with me, as a teacher of children with learning difficulties and behavioural problems, I have realized a long time age that the biggest problem with our kids is that no one loves them, or they think no one loves them.

Love is such a powerful force in life. Unfortunatelly we often downplay and ridicule the power of love in today world and we are all worse off because of it. Your son (he is yours now:) and your daughter will never end up in the centres, where I work, because they have YOU. IF you do anything more in your life, dear Alayne, just raise these two beautiful children, you may grow old in peace knowing that your job is done:) So happy to meet you here and all the best to you, my new dear follower:)


Redberry Sky profile image

Redberry Sky 4 years ago

Brilliant Hub - I wish I'd had *this Hub* as a kid! But nevermind - I'm glad I found it as an adult. Beautiful sentiments :) What advice from my parents do I wish I'd listened to? To really take advantage of the freedoms of childhood, because it's something we never experience again in our lives.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, Redberry for your kind response, happy that my words resonated in you, you are right, the freedom of childhood is something that is lost forever:)


Beachlife 4 years ago

Very touching hub, and grandma was right you always have everything you need inside of you already, you just need to find it or figure it out!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

So true, my fellow hubber, but sometime it takes us longer than we think and people are gone, there is no one to tell: "You have been right after all, thank you!" any more:)


Jessica Ranae Ray profile image

Jessica Ranae Ray 4 years ago from Arizona

Loved it.

When my sister was pregnant with her first child she was afraid she wouldn't be a good mother since she went through two. She and I are half sisters; same father different mothers. But let me tell you she is a wonderful mother! I couldn't agree more that everything you need is inside of you. I have the same fears in my mind if I will make a good mother or do well with parenting. Shoot I'm scared that I won't do well as a new wife but God has guided me through much and I have plenty of loving family for support. So thank you for this hub, it was truly touching.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, so much Jessica for your insightful and beautiful response:)

All the best to you, my fellow hubber, in your parenting and in your living:)


drmiddlebrook profile image

drmiddlebrook 4 years ago from Texas, USA

Beata, I wish I had listened to my mother when she warned me about eating the wrong things, cautioning me about gaining weight. Had I been able to comprehend that she was saying what she said out of pure love, out of wanting the best possible life for me, I would have listened, and chances are if I'd done that, I wouldn't have spent a large portion of my life gaining and then trying to lose weight. But as a child, I just did not "get it" that my mother was saying the things she said out of love for me. I always took what she said the wrong way, allowing the words to make me feel condemned, instead of empowered.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you for sharing your story, dear 'drmiddlebrook', for your honesty, few of us have listened to good old advice when we were young and so we have to learn on our own mistakes, but once you akcnowledge your shortcoming you are on the right path to become who you want to be:) B

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