What makes a good parent?

Posted On June 30, 2008

Filed under Bear, family, life, parenting

Comments Dropped 3 responses

I have spent a lot of time lately thinking about what makes a good parent.  Maybe its been all of the news articles or maybe it was Father’s Day, but its really been on my mind.  I have been reading Mama Rock’s Rules by Rose Rock and I realized that I am still not the parent I want to be.

I still remember meeting Bear’s girls for the first time.  We were having a BBQ and just getting to know each other.  The one thing that really sticks out from that day is that I was thinking, “Wow, what a great dad…”  Even though we were just in his backyard, he knew exactly where each kid was and what they were doing.  When they came up to talk to him or ask a question, he would squat down so that he was at eye level with them and completely engage them.  There were times that day that he played with them and other times that he just watched them.  When it was time to eat, he made sure they all had food and drink before he would even go near a plate himself.  There were so many little things that he did that day, there is no way that I could list them all.  He just lit up became so full of life and purpose when they were around.

Since becoming part of The Tribe, whenever I get in a tough spot or feel like I am not sure what to do, I always turn to him.  He always seems to know how to handle any situation, even when he is upset.  I know people will say that comes from experience but with him it is not just experience.  There is more to it then that, he instinctively protects them and their best interests, like a Bear protecting his cubs.

His protective instinct started over 15 years ago, when The Mother Hen was born.  He was in the military at the time and very young but he had read about SIDS and crib-death.  His wife at the time wanted almost nothing to do with The Mother Hen, so when they brought her home from the hospital he was the one who took care of her.  For the next three days, he neither slept nor ate because he refused to put The Mother Hen in her crib, fearing that if he did she would get hurt.  He wouldn’t set her down for a moment or let her out of his sight.  After three days of not hearing from him, his best friend at the time went over to his apartment.  Aaron found Bear exhausted but still very protective over his infant daughter.  Aaron had to argue with him for several hours before he would finally get some rest.  Aaron promised to hold onto the baby and not set her down for the next few hours, if Bear would sleep.  Eventually, Bear learned how to set up the crib so that The Mother Hen could sleep in it and he would feel secure.  But, he still spent most nights sleeping in the rocking chair in her room.  Even today, he doesn’t sleep right unless all the kids are in the house and he still goes and checks on each one of them at least once throughout the night.

Bear is an amazing parent and an awesome guy.  I strive to be like him as a parent as much as I can.  He is so good at it that people have stopped telling him what a great job he is doing.  I am probably the worst offender of this because I look up to him as a parent and I don’t tell him how great he is.  I just wish that one day, I will be half as good at being a parent as he is.


3 Responses to “What makes a good parent?”

  1. wendycaff

    I just found your blog, and I’m looking forward to hearing your point of view on things. My oldest son is 5, and his “other” dad is getting married Saturday. I’m thrilled for him, but a little nervous about having another mother around. From what I’ve read so far, it seems like their “other” mother may not be in the picture… but I’m sure you’ll still have interesting POV’s on things. Nice ta meetcha!


  2. Tricia

    I think some people have an instinct for care-taking, others learn it. I’m quite positive that if you’re questioning and evaluating your parenting skills, it means you’re a pretty good mom–especially for a wicked step mom :)The people who don’t take time to ask themselves what they can do to be good parents, the people who think it’ll all just wash out in the end, those are the people I tend to worry about; or more accurately, I worry about their children.

  3. karmental

    I just ran across your blog too. The people who can step back to assess their own parenting style are probably better parents or step-parents than they know. Having grown up with a wicked step mom, I don’t think you’re sounding very wicked at all. I admire how you adore your husband for his parenting style. Seems so many step moms are jealous of their husband’s relationship with his children like it somehow diminishes their value in his life. I would have been so much nicer to my WSM had she supported me and my dad having a relationship, instead of complaining that he actually paid his child support while her ex didn’t.
    I so love to see dads kiss their children. My husband still kisses the back of our boys’ heads as they sit on his lap. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!

    Looking forward to stopping back…

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