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Good Parenting Tips

Updated on September 26, 2013

Parenting! If there is a tougher job in this lifetime I’d sure like to know what that is. I was a single parent for fourteen years….hell, I’m still a parent although now I have Bev to bounce my thoughts off of when the going gets tough and the tough is frozen with indecision. My son is now twenty-seven and let me tell you, the fairy tales we heard when we were young about the kids leaving the nest at eighteen were grossly over-exaggerated. One’s child never really leaves home as long as home is where the heart is.

So, how does one parent? There are no cheat notes for this job! It’s not like college where you can skim the chapters and then get a C on the exam. Whenever I think about parenting I think about studying to be a teacher. You take all of these classes about teaching methods and you graduate and you’re feeling pretty good about your preparation and then you walk into your first classroom and you freeze. OMG! What do I do now? No amount of college courses can prepare you for the first day of teaching and in many ways that’s how parenting is.

With that in mind I have decided to help out all of you would-be parents with a little guide to parenting. Of course there are endless books out there that will tell you the latest theories on parenting and they will provide study results detailing why you should do this and why you should do that. You can also pay through the nose for parenting classes but seriously, why bother? I’m offering this primer for free!

So pull up a chair and I’ll highlight the important points to focus on when your child enters your life and turns your world upside down. Oh, one note: The title of this article in no way implies that you are actually an idiot! I just wanted to get your attention.


A loving family!
A loving family! | Source

Make No Mistake About It….you Are a Role Model

Kids are like sponges and the liquid they are absorbing is you. Until they get old enough to care about what their peers are doing, kids will watch you, their parent, and file your every move into their memory bank. The old saying, “Do as I say and not as I do,” is about as worthless as an extra appendix. Kids will copy your mannerisms, your speech patterns and your decision-making process. They will watch how you tackle problems, process the way you interact with others and internalize every single word that you say to them.

Parents are the single greatest influence on their child’s life. I present an interesting case study since I am adopted. The old “nurture vs nature” discussion gets a big vote for nurture when talking about this author. Now at the ripe old age of sixty-three, I can easily see the influence of my parents on my life today. I was raised to be compassionate and loving; I was raised to work hard and not make excuses. I was raised to be polite and to keep moving forward through adversity. I adored my parents and in many ways I mirror them even though their DNA cannot be found in me.

One of the greatest things you can do for your child is to live a life that you can be proud of. Do not teach them lessons through words but rather teach them through your actions. You can bet that if you cuss around the house they will parrot that behavior. If you show fits of temper and rage they will parrot that behavior. Conversely, if you show signs of caring for others they will follow suit. Do not underestimate the amount of influence you have; it could very well be the biggest mistake you ever make.


Discipline Is Necessary

I am not into this New Age crap that says discipline is evil and not necessary. Kids need to know boundaries and they need to understand that unacceptable behavior will not be tolerated. No, I am not talking about hitting your child; I can see no circumstance that justifies a 150 pound adult hitting a 50 pound child. However, there must be established guidelines that detail what is expected as a member of the household and as a member of society.

If I was given a curfew of ten p.m. then 10:01 was not acceptable or tolerated. If I was expected to take out the garbage every day by bedtime then the garbage better be out on the curb by bedtime. I knew there would be immediate action if those things were not done. There was not a moment of doubt in my mind and that’s as it should be.

Children need structure and children need a sense of right and wrong. It is the job of the parent to provide both; that is one of our primary jobs as a parent. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could just be best friends to our kids and never discipline? Well, that’s not reality and it isn’t helpful in any way, shape or form. Discipline can be handled in a loving manner and still be discipline. My parents made it known that they loved me but that did not mean that I could get away with anything I felt like doing. I did not have an oppressed childhood; I had a loving childhood and that included a code of behavior that was expected and reinforced.

Take all of those New Age parenting books and use them as fire-starters. I’m giving you the basics so take notes and don’t try to thank me.


Me, surrounded by a loving but firm family
Me, surrounded by a loving but firm family | Source

Expose Your Kids to the World Around Them

If I had my way every television set and game console in America would be banned and confiscated. Sadly, for many parents, television has become the babysitter of the 21st Century. I know, you are tired from working all day and you just need a little break. What’s wrong with that? Turn on the boob tube, stick a movie in and you have a two-hour R&R session. And in truth there is nothing wrong with that as long as it doesn’t become a habit. All parents need a rest and there were times when a two-minute rest sounded just perfect to me; a two-hour rest was heaven.

However, another aspect of parenting is to help kids become active and grow in a healthy manner; healthy mentally and physically. Kids want to learn and you are their teacher early on. Go for nature walks AND let them see how excited those walks are for you. Take them to the lake, take them to the zoo, take them just about anywhere that will stimulate their mind and body.

Give them an appreciation for reading and read to them every single chance you get. Give them an appreciation for sports and play with them often. Do science experiments with them and have them grow a garden. When they are old enough teach them about service to others and then model that service.

What? You say that sounds exhausting? Well, tough! You chose to be a parent so get out there and be a parent. My biological mother gave birth to me but she was not my parent. My mother was Evelyn J. Holland and she was there each and every day raising me with love and enthusiasm. My father was Dale L. Holland and he never missed one of my ballgames, played catch with me every night and taught me to fish and ride a bicycle. Parenting is a commitment and it does not come with time off because you are tired.

What? You work too hard and too long to always be there for your kids? Well then it might be time to reconsider your priorities. Your most important job is raising your child as an active parent. The job buys your child things; that is not parenting. Is there wiggle room in this viewpoint? No!


My son, the product of my parenting skills...poor kid LOL
My son, the product of my parenting skills...poor kid LOL | Source

The Greatest Parenting Tip of Them All

Are you ready? This is the single most important piece of advice that I can give to new parents. Are you listening?

Do all things with love! You have accepted the responsibility of raising a child and there is no greater responsibility in this lifetime. It is your job to model loving behavior. Your child should see love between his/her parents in every single action. Your child should see love in your interaction with other people and most importantly they should see love in your eyes every single time you look at them.

My dad did not raise me to be a wimp. I was expected to fight when threatened or disrespect. I was also raised to respect other people and I was raised to understand the meaning of love. He showed it to me every day of his life, as did my mother. I saw how they were loved and respected by friends and family. I saw in their actions that love is not a spectator sport, that when you say “I love you” it is meaningless unless you show it in your actions. Their love was without a doubt the greatest gift they gave me and I, in turn, have given it to my son. That, my friends, is a legacy to be proud of, much more so than the amount of money you made last year or the number of possessions you own.

There are going to be some tough times. Your child will eventually rebel against you. Count on it! That does not mean they are any less worthy of love. Through the good times and the bad they must always know that they have a safe haven with their parents, a place where love can always be found.


Did you learn how to parent from your parents?

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Bottom Line

I know for a fact my parents never read a parenting book before they adopted me. I know this because I asked them if they had. Their answer is as true today as it was forty-five years ago when I asked the question. They said they didn’t need any damn book; they simply used common sense, compassion and love.

I remembered that when it was my turn to be a parent. It was not easy and there were times I wanted to pull my hair out and scream for help, but I kept reminding myself of the words of my parents. It was the “wing and a prayer” system of parenting but it was grounded in some very solid principles. I looked at how I had turned out as an adult and decided that the results were pretty darn good. Thus, if the system ain’t broke, then don’t fix it.

My wish for all of you out there about to embark on this parenting journey is that you find as much joy as I did during my journey. It is the trip of a lifetime and it is a job that continues to pay back dividends long after your child has left home.

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • Angel198625 profile image

      Amber Lynn 4 years ago

      I loved this hub. I think you touched on some of the most important things such as discipline, and that parents are role models. Too often parents can easily forget that their children are watching and want to be "just like them." My favorite part of this hub was the part about "doing it with love." Great job and voted up! ;)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Angel! It's nice having you as a follower and I really appreciate your comments.

    • TToombs08 profile image

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

      I wish more parents cared enough about their kids to want to be the best role model they can be for their kids. If we have to have a license to own a pet, why aren't we required to get a license to have a kid, which is only slightly more involved in taking care of. :)

      Seeing parenting practices that I didn't agree with used to drive me nutty. Now, instead of getting upset, I just remind myself that I have to be the best parent for Collin I can be and use the other parent's interesting methods as an example of how not to do it. Hey,maybe it works for them, and they'll be proud of their child when little jimmy is doing 20 to life in jail for stabbing his girlfriend to death because he had a bad day and he ran out of beer.

    • brenda12lynette profile image

      brenda12lynette 4 years ago from Utah

      Sounds like great advice billybuc! We don't have any kids yet. We just got married, and we want to wait a couple years. I will have to look this up again when the time comes. I love what you said about banning televisions. I loved reading when I was growing up and have every intention of instilling that in my children. Voted up :)

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      My friend Bill - I say that with newfound appreciation my friend. This great write is such a wonderful example of what a person should be, how a parent should conduct themselves. The book review was awesome and perfect. The message on the review was awe-inspiring. Reading this, I realize how great my parents raised me. Both encourged all four of us to read and we devour every readable write we can get our hands on. They taught us to know why this country is here and who assisted and sacrificed so we could learn about it. I got tears in my eyes when you told Bev you loved her and I am glad to have been a witness to it. You both are so lucky to have found one another.

      You already know I have lossed some special people in my. My comfort is knowing I always told them how much I love them.

      This was, is and always will be so great. Just timeless. You are a great human being.

      Lucy sounds so adorable, Jazz and CC are behaving, I hope.

      I know why Bev and yourself named Lucy.

      So you could come in the door and yell "Lucy, I'm home".

      Great great write.

      Like the slogan for milk....."Love, It does a body good."

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      TT, we can only hope Jimmy gets some time off for good behavior! LOL...you crack me up, even when you are being serious. I do understand your point; when I was teaching and we had a conference about some kid who had discipline problems, I wanted to grab the parents and scream at them that they were the problem, not that kid. Sigh!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brenda, I tried to boil down parenting to the basics....people try to make it more complicated than it needs be...just use common sense and love your child. Thank you for taking the time to comment!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Look at you my Irish lass, embarrassing me again and bringing tears to my eyes. Ain't life wonderful? Your words touch me; promise me one day we can sit down over coffee and laugh as old friends laugh. That would please me greatly....I'll even bring Lucy if that's an enticement for you.

      Seriously, thank you! In a very short time you have managed to touch my heart and soul and I am incredibly grateful for your friendship.

      bill

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      First, I have to say I love your "fireside chats". It is nice to actually "meet" the person behind the hub. Come on Bev, step out in front of the camera, you're doing such a great job!

      Second, I too was adopted and had THE best parents, much like you described. Loving, honest, caring parents who taught me all of those things along with respect and a sense of right from wrong.

      Third, everything you said about parenting is oh so true. I had my first child when I was 19 and I remember my mother telling me, "you have to be his mother not his friend. You can be his friend sometimes, but always his mother." She was very, very right!

      Now, while you don't believe in parenting BOOKS, this hub could certainly be a "parenting guide" for all the truths it holds.

      Voted up, useful, awesome and interesting. Way to go Bill!!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, you are very kind and thank you for stopping by. Maybe some day I can get Bev to step out from behind the camera. She is a tad shy in that regard. The pets, on the other hand, would all be in my lap if allowed. :) Power to adopted kids everywhere! Thank you my friend!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      bill.....This hub is full of great ideas and advice....some serious common sense (oh, that's a concept from the boomer generation, I see you're familiar)

      As a typical (normal) "parent," I have these ridiculous moments of self-criticism (carry-over from "upbringing-by-guilt, the Catholic version") and I beat myself up with ......."Did I really do a good job....are my poor sons dealing with private issues caused by my occasional stupidity??? " Was I fair? Do they look back with fondness and appreciation?

      and then, I straighten up and get real. I DID do a damned good job....I'm sure of it! I'm sure because aside from anything else, every single second of their lives with me, I loved them beyond human limits.....so even when I screwed up, there was never a negative or selfish intention. My motives were 100% FOR them.

      I get the urge to ask each one of them...."So, how do you think I did as a Mom?" I know them so well, I'm sure they would be sweet and respectful and leave out any disappointments... So, maybe that's my answer, right there? I don't know.

      One of the four.....my head-butter......he might make a crack or two, because he just wouldn't be able to pass up the opportunity........and YOU can get that sh**-eatin grin off your face, bill! Yes, he IS the one most like his mother! Happy??

    • Dr Pooja profile image

      Dr Pooja 4 years ago

      Your hub is inspirational.Thankfully, I too have wonderful parents who taught us Right and wrong but gave me freedom to take decisions and have been with me through thick and thin.Wish I can do justice of being a mom of two loving kids.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula....LMAO...how did you know? I was grinning as I read that last part and that is exactly what was going through my mind. Too damn funny!

      My son is driving me crazy; why I'm not sure. He is 27, totally aimless and can't find a direction. So of course I think "what could I have done differently as a parent?" The answer is nothing...he was loved beyond measure and the little turd can just figure it all out on his own from here on. I gave him the foundation and the love and if he chooses to drift around like a ship without an anchor then my best to him.

      I think we all have those thoughts and doubts....oh well, I never claimed to be perfect.

      Thanks my dear and have a great weekend.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Great old school advice. I was raised rough with these old school values. My own older children think they had it rough but they have no idea what that even means. If more people would follow this advice the world would be a much better place. Well done and very sound.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dr. Pooja, I think there are times that couples make parenting a harder job than it is....just use common sense and love your children...it doesn't have to be any more complicated than that.

      Thank you; I greatly appreciate you stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Tammy; like you said, our kids have no idea. My dad was no nonsense; it was his way or the highway and I chose his way. LOL

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Your advice is golden! Every person contemplating children should read this. Your son is so fortunate to have had YOU as his father. You are so solid and full of common sense that I wish I knew you personally. You are quite a good person.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzette, I'm blushing! Thank you! One of my regrets regarding HubPages is that we never get the chance to meet special people who we are in contact almost daily. You are a very kind person; maybe some day we will meet and share a laugh or two.

    • sarahcherbert profile image

      Sarah Crandall Herbert 4 years ago from Grass Valley, California

      Great article billybuc! Thanks for sharing your advice with us :)

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Bill, you present great points and excellent advice. I could nor agree more. It is so sad that so many parents these days simply let the children do as the wish and follow the lead of their "Friends."

      Very well done my friend!

    • adawnmorrison profile image

      adawnmorrison 4 years ago from The Midwest

      As someone who tried to read parenting books from experts and nearly caused myself psychological trauma as a result, I have to say I LOVE THIS. The best way to learn anything is by experience. My husband and I had a difficult time with our first child, then decided we had learned so much from him that we should have two more so all that learning didn't go to waste. Now we are adopting two more - so five in all!

      The one good thing I can say about the books is that they motivated me to rescue my friends with younger children from ever reading or paying attention to them.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for taking the time to read; I appreciate you greatly.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, I think you and I come from a generation who just "did it." They knew what was right and wrong and then just did it. I tried to follow on that path and it worked out okay. Thank you for your support my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Adawn, that is a great comment and hooray for you for adopting children. As an adopted child I give you great respect. Thank you!

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Bill, would it be odd if I copied and pasted the whole hub into my comment? LOL it's ok I won't but it was that good! I agree with everything you said, we need more people like you who have a great insight into parenting, unfortunately it is not the case...

      "Children need structure and children need a sense of right and wrong. It is the job of the parent to provide both; that is one of our primary jobs as a parent." So very true Bill! This is an excellent hub of wisdom for those parents who need a kick in the butt to improve them and show them where they may have been wrong!

      Great job Bill! Voted up and some and sharing!

      p.s. I will watch the video at a later point and time, it is not working for me right now :(

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks nephew! I think there are times parents try to over-complicate parenting; there are other times when some parents think their participation is not needed. Parenting is a full-time job that requires logic and love.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      bill.....I can't possibly let this opportunity go by.....My cousin (the brother I never had) had the same situation with his son as you relate with yours......"drifting around like a ship without an anchor".......short version: His son ended up going to Florida to live near his mother and see what might strike his fancy in that location......a little irony He's been working on a commercial FISHING BOAT and he LOVES it!!

      One never knows what will appear from around the corner! There's hope.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, true words. He's a good man but he just can't get out of his own way long enough to find that damn anchor. There is always hope, right? Right!

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Yes Bill, absolutely correct!

    • Trinity M profile image

      Trinity M 4 years ago

      Beautiful and well thought out hub. Being the mother of a lively 6 year old boy I know exactly what you mean by tough. It’s hard work setting an example for my son. The wonderful thing is that by making sure I set a good example for him, I become a better person myself. Thank you for this lovely hub. Voted up and awesome.

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I once read a statement that "even children who are severely abused still love their parents." It's what they know. Case in point that supports teaching by example. Many of today's abusers were yesterdays abused.

      My adult daughter is far too dependent on me. But, since I did everything, but breathe for her, of course she is still dependent. If it works, the easy way is human nature. The problem is one of my own making. By three, she argued about everything and was diagnosed as oppositional-defiant. I was advised to pick my battles carefully (basically only insisting when it was life and death) or else my existence would be consumed by constant battles. So, I did. The doctor wasn't exaggerating when he told me that this personality type often ends up in trouble with the law. Her's are parking tickets or not renewing her plates, upon which she got 90 tickets and a warrant for her arrest if caught driving until the issue was resolved. So, for the past two years I have been her taxi service. Though my ex, her dad, has paid the fines, she now tells him there are a couple more. I can't help but think she likes being chauffeured, because this could have been taken care of 2 years ago. With all that's gone on for me personally the last 2-years, I couldn't take any more and found it easier to just take her to the doctor or grocery store, as I was put into the middle between my ex and her. Last I heard, her dad is going to get the rest in order by next week and she'll be able to drive again. That remains to be seen, but hope springs eternal. I'm burned out on parenting, Bill. There are not too many things so difficult I admit defeat, but there comes a time, when a difficult child becomes a difficult adult, when I say it's time to live what life I have left. I won't let her starve or go without medical care, but at some point, she must take responsibility for her own life. I am trying to help my elderly mom now, too. My daughter decided to make her doctor appt on the same day I was taking my mom to the doctor for her 2nd procedure in a series of 3 for macular degeneration. I asked Megan to reschedule her appt for another day in the same week, but, no, it had to be that day. I ran myself into the ground, getting her to a morning appt and then to the pharmacy, before running home to take care of my dog before setting out for my mom's doctor visit in the afternoon. This is typical and exhausting. Those are the days when I feel "at the end of my rope." The problem is I see no end in sight and I long to head for Belize. And, I'm not kidding.

      Great article, Bill, which illustrates your teaching abilities. Thank you, my friend, for listening.

    • profile image

      kelleyward 4 years ago

      Have you heard of the new parenting technique where the kids raise themselves? It's something called no schooling instead of home schooling or regular public/private school these parents' believe their kids do best learning through no formal instruction or at least very limited instruction. I find the amount of bogus parenting approaches to be extremely disheartening. Thanks for swinging the pendulum back in the way I believe is right. Kids need to be lovingly disciplined in order to make it in this word! Voted up, useful, and shared! Kelley

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Trinity, I love your point that by setting a better example you become a better person. Wonderful viewpoint. Thank you so much for stopping by again.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amy, I have often dreamed of a life in Belize...and I'm not kidding either.

      I understand; I'm burned out with my own 27 year old son who can't seem to stand on his own two feet. It's everyone else's fault, never his, and I find myself wondering where in the hell that attitude came from. It certainly wasn't me and I'm damn sure of that. How could a kid grow up around hard-working parents who never made excuses and be the exact opposite. I just don't get it but I do know that I'm far too old to be doing this parent thing any longer. I gave him the best shot at success that I could and now I'm done.

      Thank you my friend; I feel like I have known you for years...and it's a nice, comfortable feeling.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kelley, I was trying to figure out when all this New Age stuff started and I have to tell you, I blame the 60's generation for it. It was the time of turning the establishment upside down, doing away with the old ways, finding a kinder, gentler way of parenting....and it's all nonsense.

      Anyway, thank you so much. I need to go see if you have written anything new that I might have missed.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I agree with so many of your points here. This is a great hub! Children need to be taught respect and manners. So much of that has gone by the way side. Children need discipline and it needs to be consistant. Not let them get by with something sometimes and then descipline them for it another time.

      One of my friends told me once that he wished he had raised bird dogs before he had children. He said he learned a lot about consistant descipline from raising his bird dogs, but it was too late for his kids. LOL

      Children also need good role models at home. If their parents were not good modles for them, they will tend to raise their children as they were raised. Sometimes that's not a good thing.

      Voted up and useful!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sgbrown! I appreciate you stopping by and your comments are also appreciated. Have a wonderful weekend my friend.

    • Mei Eden profile image

      Mei Eden 4 years ago from Houston, TX

      Another amazing hub, billybuc! Although I'm not a parent yet myself, I can see myself clearly in the position of child figure in your article. I can see where my habits (both good and bad) closely mirror those of my parents. That sponge-like quality of children scares me to death about eventually becoming a mother! What if I do it wrong? What if they learn all the bad things?

      And then you mention the most important lesson of all - and that's doing all things with love. My parents were by no means perfect when I was growing up, and I don't need to be perfect either. All that really matters is that I know they loved me enough to try their best. I know I can love my future child too, and that's what matters most.

      As always, you really know how to get to the heart of a person with your articles. Thanks! Voted up!

    • EclecticFusion profile image

      Lisa 4 years ago from Tennessee

      I am what I am to day because of two very loving parents. I see so many "parents" today that never correct their kids and often encourage them to do bad things. I once saw a mother tell her child to leave a toy in the floor of a store and not to pick it up because that's what the people that work there get paid for. Doesn't sound like a big deal, but that teaches the child that it's okay to only help yourself and never to help others. So sad.

      This is a wonderful and very humorous hub! I love your style of writing. So honest and very educational!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eden, that is a realization that came to me slowly...I did not have to be a perfect parent, but I always had to be a loving parent. The rest didn't come easy but it all worked out in the end.

      Thank you my friend! Have a wonderful weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lisa, it's so nice to see you! I hope you are well and I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a meaningful comment. Have a fantastic weekend my friend.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      both of my kids are very successful ( career and money). I was very active with them until college. punishment was not an issue as they never did anything that wrong. but "as I slept" they changed. they don't "see me" anymore.

    • poetvix profile image

      poetvix 4 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      I dearly loved the part about the best way to raise your children is by living a good life. Sir, I think you have written a most useful guide full of simple wisdom that has held true for the ages across all cultural divides. Here's hoping parents read it! Great article.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mhatter, I understand that completely. Thanks for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Whoa, poetvix...how I have missed you! Seriously my dear, I have missed you! I hope you are well. I've been asking around trying to find out where you disappeared to. Welcome back! I, for one, am very happy!

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      This is such an important message, Bill. Becoming a parent is the hardest job one will ever undertake and it doesn't stop when your child becomes of age, so you'd better be strong in your beliefs and be willing to sacrifice your needs for that of the person whom you are molding, because yes, they are sponges, even when you're not looking!

      I was fortunate to have a very positive upbringing, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. That is what set me up for having the strength to not only guide my life, but that of my son when I gave birth.

      Before I carry on, I need to tell a story. Back in my cocaine days, long before I was a wife or mother (to digress a bit, I was a copywriter and making a lot of money, which is why I am now trying to re-enter the creative world. I had to give it up because I was making too much money for a single girl in the 80s. I put my money up my nose.) I had a friend who was a sales person at the production house for which I wrote TV commercials. She was a single mom of 2 daughters, ages 5 and 7. The copy world back in the 80s was full of coke snorting folks, from co-workers to clients, to ad executives. It was rampant. Anyway, my friend and I would get together on the weekends and go into her bathroom, lock the door and do our deed. My friend thought her daughters had no idea what was going on until one day, while sitting in the kitchen, my friend's youngest daughter emerged from her bedroom with a straw sticking out of her nose! She thought she was being a "big girl", much like we did when we donned our mommie's high heels. Thank God my friend was appalled at what her daughter was mimicing. I never went back to that house again because I didn't want to be party to that little girl thinking that was a way of life, although for the adult women, it certainly was. I never kept in touch with Sandy. I have a feeling if she's still alive, her daughters have taken the wrong path and are probably in a bad state of mind, if not jail.

      When I made the conscious decision to become a mother, at the very ripe old age of 35 (needed to make sure my oats were sown first), I did my best to educate my son, spend time with him, set perameters, guide him through my experience (which children never learn until they're adults. Gee, Mom, you were right all along!) support him and most of all love him no matter what.

      Yesterday, we attended a charity event together. My place of work, which is family owned and Christian oriented, sets aside 3 Fridays a year where we shut down the office and participate in a community charity event. Yesterday, we helped the University of Florida and the Brevard Zoo restore one of many dead oyster reefs in the Intracoastal. This is the second year my company voted for this event, one which is close to my and my son's heart.

      Before beginning the restoration process, we all gathered around in a circle, up to our knees in water and introduced ourselves. My son introduced himself and was asked (he's 19) if he's a student or if he's working. At the time he's unemployed and isn't ready to go to college, if that's his desire at all. I leave the decision to him. He said, "I'm nothing". When it came my turn to introduce myself, I said my name, stated the company I'm with and said "I'm with Mr. Nothing over there. Seriously, Christopher is my son and he is everything!". My comment elicited a universal "awwww". My point is, lately my son has been expressing feelings of worthlessness because he's not working. He calls himself a piece of s**it. I look him in the eyes every time, hug him and remind him of his kind, generous, caring, giving soul. I think maybe sometimes he thinks I'm saying that because he feels I have to.

      Yesterday, when I pronounced my son as "everything" in front of those who know him and perfect strangers, I think he finally realized I mean what I say and I say what I mean. I think and hope it helped him shake off his sense of worthlessness and direct his energies to the tremendous good he has to offer. To the strength I hope he's absorbing from me.

      Parenthood is a very hard job, but the most worthwhile, the most rewarding and the most important undertaking of our lives.

      If you're not willing to give your all, do yourself and your prospective family a favor and don't become a parent. Too many parents today don't care. They resent the responsibility and the person with whom God has blessed them.

      Conversely, God has given you the wherewithall to teach, bless, procreate, love and bring into this world those who can change it for the better. It all starts with us. Parenting is a blessing. It's the highest honor that can be bestowed upon us. Stand up and be proud. Love and love loudly. Teach and reap. Love and be loved.

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Great words of wisdom on parenting, Bill. Too many parents do not realize they are their child's first teacher and lessons begin in the home. And let's face it, some children do not have parents enough in the home to role model good life choices. Those parents who take their role seriously know that, as you say, it isn't easy and no amount of book learning can really teach you parenting. However, with consistent, firm and nurturing love parents will establish character values in children that will help them to live well. Voted up!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, you could be talking about my son in your story and thank you for sharing that poignant and touching tale. If my life is to have meaning then it must be spent shouting and living love. Nothing else makes any sense if there is not love.

      I'll be right alongside of you and celebrating in each and every victory you experience along the way.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, I believe that with my entire being. It is too important a job to take lightly and it can be the only priority until our children can stand on their own. Thank you my friend and wishing you a blessed weekend.

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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Great advice as always Billy. One of the best things my mom did for me was to expand my world view by exposing me to books and travel. I didn't realize what she was doing at the time, that it was deliberate, but I've learned that now and I am very grateful. Those of us with good parents should thank God every day - this was a good reminder for me.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Crystal, the good ones go unnoticed while we are growing up. It isn't until we get older that we realize just how good they were. Thanks for stopping by; it's always a pleasure to see your smiling face on my site.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...thanks for stopping by cokehead.

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      Elena 4 years ago from London, UK

      I enjoyed reading this Hub. Very important issues raised particularly about TV. Kids are so influenced by what they see and if parents are not aware of what they have seen, they have no way of putting them straight.

      My Dad - as loving as he is, always made it clear, I needed to be home latest 9pm as a Teen. The first day, I was out past 9pm, he was waiting at the bus stop for me and not with his usual loving smile. lol. Since then, even til today - I have gotten into the habit of never being out at odd hours e.g 11pm onwards.

      I learnt a lot from your Hub and thanks for sharing your experience.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lady E, it is always a pleasure having you stop by! Thank you! Those lessons learned do stay with us a lifetime, don't they? LOL...I still remember the ones my dad believed to be important.

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      Pete Fanning 4 years ago from Virginia

      Wow billybuc, this was a great read, one that I have a feeling I will be coming back to more than a few times!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Pete! I think young parents tend to make parenting more difficult than it needs to be. When in doubt, fall back on the basics that never change.

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      Sondra 4 years ago from Neverland

      Common sense, compassion, and love...the perfect recipe for good parenting. (That and a little structure and discipline like you said.) I think would-be parents also need to practice forgiving themselves if they mess up every now and again.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ardie, I couldn't agree more. Too many parents are afraid to take a chance and then too busy beating themselves up over decisions that did not work out....just be a loving parent and move forward each and every day. Parenting is not a perfect science....and I know you know that as well as anyone. Thank you buddy!

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      This hub makes me feel like a bad mother letting my children watch TV while I'm writing hubs. I really think TV and all the TV games take too much time in my children's life. Especially this time of the year they should spend most of the time outside.

      Today I felt like a bad mother when I told my 6 year old that he had to go to the soccer training. He didn't want to go last time and I let him stay home on one condition - he had to go next time, and that was today. He's dad took him there and I I'm sure he had a great time with his friends on the soccer field.

      I agree with you that it's very important to discipline children. I'm glad it's against the law to hit children in Finland. What would they learn from that? Children who have been hit, probably end up as abusive parents themselves.

      Raising children to become good and caring people who take responsibility for their actions is the hardest work of all. This hub is very important and it would be a great guide to all parents today. Thank you for sharing this hub. Bill, you are a wise man.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Made, I'm not sure I'm wise but I do have experience. I learned from my parenting mistakes, just as we all do. After you make enough mistakes you finally figure out what actually works well. For me it was hit and miss until I came close to getting it right. :)

      Thank you my dear friend; I hope you are having a great summer; our summer weather finally arrived.

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      Jennifer Stone 4 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      Great hub Billy, and great advice! You are so right about all of it, with a teenage son (just coming up to 14) I'll take all the advice I can get! lol Voted up and everything, Jen

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jennifer, best of luck with that son. :) The best advice I ever heard about parenting is love them and then love them some more...and after that love them.

      Thank you!

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      raciniwa 4 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

      i remember Proverbs 13:24

      New International Version (NIV)

      24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children,

      but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

      well thought and written Bill...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Raci! I appreciate your comment.

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      Ashish Joshi 4 years ago from India

      Though it's still some time for me, I think I can take a cue or two from here too...Thanks for this, Sir...it's always a pleasure to read what you've to offer.

      "up'' and much as always...and shared as well.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ashish, thank you my friend! I always appreciate you stopping by.

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      Cracknutcase 4 years ago from India,bangalore

      Great hub full of useful information and advice. Being a parent is such a huge responsibility since the life and future of the kids lie in our hands. Its on the teachings, love and care of the parents that moulds the child.

      My brother and sister in law are expecting their first baby, I'm definitely gonna suggest your hub to them.

      Thank you for sharing this hub with us.

      Warm wishes :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cracknutcase, I'm happy if this helps. You are right of course; there is no bigger responsibility in life than raising a child. Thank you for the visit!

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      so funny.. I had great parents.. everything I learned was from them.. I am blessed.

      I love your hub my friend..

      Debbie

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Debbie, thank you! I think our parents came from the same mold.

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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      I have great parents, though a bit detached sometimes. What you say is true.....to role model and do everything with love, something you've to give because you've accepted a heavy responsibility. Thanks, Bill, wise as usual.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michelle, parenting is not a job for wimps! :) I just wish more people would take the job seriously. Thank you as always; your moment of praise is coming soon.

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      KDuBarry03 4 years ago

      You are absolutely right, Bill, on everything you have said in this hub. My parents raised me to understand and respect them, I had my fair share of chores (but not too much to where it was overkilling), I had curfews and they insisted that I get a job if I want to go out and have fun. My parents definitely taught me all I need to know about parenting and I will definitely be exercising them when the time comes!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Keith, it's all just common sense, and yet parents today want to make it complicated. Set some standards, live by some principles, and all will be well....and do all things with love.

      Thanks my young friend.

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