What my mom did right in raising me
I look at little kids crying that they can't have that toy in the store; I see my friends devastated at the load of credit card debt they've taken on; I hear people whine about being unhappy with their jobs and their lives in general.
What makes me so special that I wasn't and am not like them? My mother.
*She taught me that "no" means no.
No matter how good my reasons were, if something wasn't to be, it wasn't to be. My mom's word was last. And I had to learn to live with it. It taught me respect to my elders, good manners, and patience. I learned to wait and sometimes that other options were just as good or better.
*She made me work... young.
I started babysitting when I was 12 and I got my first job when I was 14. It taught me how to manage money because I had to pay for most of my things since I started my first job. I also learned to take care of what I owned because I bought them myself and didn't want to have to put out any more money for them.
*She didn't drag me out in public during my naptime.
My mom said that we never cried like the babies in the department stores or in movie theaters because we got enough sleep when we needed it. Period.
*She showed me that it could always be worse.
If I complained about something, she would almost always point to her own childhood, which showed me that what I was whining about really wasn't that bad. She had to work harder for less. Her medicines weren't as good as ours, no matter how bad mine tasted. It was easier for me to go to college than for her.
*She praised me for the good things I did.
Lots of children live for the approval of their parents. I guess I was one of these, because every time I got good grades or helped a friend, my mother was there to tell me how wonderful I was. It makes me feel good just thinking about it now.
*She wasn't afraid to put her foot down.
Sometimes a mother needs to get strict and be firm. I would have kept getting into bed with my parents for a while longer if she hadn't put her foot down when she did. It taught us independence and respect. That's for sure.
*She was always there when she said she would be.
She never forgot a soccer practice, an after-school activity. My brother and I could always count on her car pulling up to a friend's house when we said to pick us up. She was in our elementary classes helping out when we asked her to. It showed us consistency and the importance of dependability... especially when we would see our friends waiting for their parents.
*She treated us every once in a while.
Doing something on a special occasion gives you something to look forward to. She wouldn't do whatever we wanted whenever we wanted. It also showed us how important certain things were, not to take things for granted, and to do things in moderation. It was also fun. When we would get ice cream cones from Thrifty or go to Six Flags, it meant that we earned it and that we could really enjoy it. We savored those times; we didn't treat them as trifles.