Vow to Be a Better Parent

Father’s Day was a special treat this year. My children are getting older and finally grasping what these holidays mean. I got lots of love and some wonderful homemade cards among other things. Despite all of these creative gifts and tons of love, I believe that the greatest gift I received was an eye-opening experience about parenting.

My epiphany came sometime during the morning of Father’s Day. My wife, Kristine, shared an article with me. The article was about a man (a bad father) who essentially had mentally broken his child. The article was a bit overzealous, but I got the gist of it and it really sunk in. After reading it, I did a little Google research and found more articles and thought provoking tidbits. As I delved in deeper, I uncovered some inner feelings that I had about myself and my family.

My dad raised me with a strict and stern outlook. He was swift with his hand and mouth. However, he never struck me out of anger. He would always send me to my room to wait for my punishment while he (presumably) calmed himself down. When the spanking time came, Dad was always sad and determined at the same time. He would explain to me why I was being punished and the ways that I could improve. Dad loved me with all of his heart, and he sincerely was doing the best that he could to raise me into a respectable adult. I happen to think he did a fantastic job with the tools he was given.

Looking back, I can learn from some of my dad’s mistakes. I can also learn from the things he did correctly. I can use the generations before me to figure out what worked and what didn’t. It struck me as sudden as a shock from an electrical outlet. I hold in my hands and mind (and always have) the power to improve based on what I’ve experienced.

This latest bit of information hit home and I sat pondering… I philosophized for literally thirty or forty minutes. It was deep thought. And, it was emotional. In the moments that followed my thought provoking inner look, I realized that I want to improve. Strike that… I NEED to improve.

I know that I’m not here to be my children’s friend.

I know that it’s my parental duty to create responsible and caring adults out of my children.

I know that my young children rely on me to guide them and help them.

However, all of those things don’t mean that I can’t still be my child’s friend. That I can’t be loving and nurturing at the same time that I’m strict and firm. Deciding then and there, I vowed to be a better Dad to my kids. I vowed to listen more to them. I vowed to touch and hold them more. I vowed to try and empathize with their needs, wants, and feelings. I vowed to love.

Love is the key. It means everything to me. With love, I can accomplish anything. And, with love I can help teach my children how to be all that they can be.

It has always been my goal to do the best as a parent. To teach and lift my children. To inspire and motivate them. Now, my eyes are opened to a deeper feeling. A longing of improving my abilities and doing even better and even more.

Today I vow to be a better parent. Will you take that vow with me? Together let’s turn the world on its ear and show that it is possible to raise understanding, smart, and responsible adults by using our brains and our hearts. Let’s learn from our past… Let’s learn from our parents… Let’s learn from our friends… And, let’s learn from each other. Join me on a quest to make a better world, one child at a time!

I hope this touched some of you, and maybe even inspired you to vow to be a better parent.

Typed (and conceived) with love,
Vaughn

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About Vaughn Ripley

Vaughn is a happily married daddy, author, and CIO. He is an HIV+ hemophiliac, and is one of the longest surviving HIV+ people in the universe.
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Comments

  1. Michelle Sidor says:

    I vow to be a better Mother. Great article. Love ya Vaughn!

  2. Who IS that handsome man with your daughter?

    Great post, my man. Love to you and your family.

    C

    • Well hello there, Chuck.

      Presently, at this time, I do believe… I sincerely appreciate your feedback, my man!

      Hugs,
      Vaughn

      p.s. the funny thing about that handsome man is that I didn’t even get his permission before posting that photo. HA!

  3. Vaughn,
    This is a great post.
    As parents we have a great stewardship and responsibility; greater than we even know. Your Post was spot on.

  4. Every day I tell myself, “You have one job you must get right today. If you screw that one up, none of the rest of it matters.”

    I make this vow every day, V. I’m right there with you.

  5. I have felt this way for a long time and I am always at odds with what the right and wrong way to parent is……You know my situation and being divorced with children makes it that much harder.

  6. Turn around and they’re suddenly grown up live today in full appreciation enjoyment and the best gift you can give them is your heart. The basic foundation and then let them spread their wings letting them know that you believe in them whatever they’re choices are…. Tell them its okay to make mistakes as long as we learn our lessons. I love seeing the uniqueness in each child. Do whatever it takes to help them feel good about themselves. They are each so very very special…. be sure to let them know this every single day. You are so right your dad was a wonderful dad and so are you. I love you and your family.

  7. Paul Johnson says:

    Great tidbits Vaughn. I’m rookie dad so I don’t have much knowledge but its good for me to start with this mind set. I’ve heard that parents should constantly set reasonable expectations for their kids and have consequences when they don’t meet those expectations. Pretty good logic.

    Stay classy!

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