Parenting…and Another Freebie!

Parenting…it’s something I think about a lot lately. Partly because my children are now having children of their own. But partly because of the books I’m writing. In the past I’ve done a lot of romance…kind of sexy stuff with a few murders thrown in to keep the readers on their toes.

wolf

But I’m currently doing a more ummmm soulful?? books. They’re all about family and relationships and babies and coming home. It’s a nice place for me to be right now, but I find that I get kind of introspect. Wondering what I did wrong. What I’ve done right. Wondering if I have any advice at all to give my own kids.

It’s funny, or maybe a little sad, what you can feel guilty about. Twenty years or so ago my husband and I took a trip to the UK where I did research for my Scottish romance novels. Our kids were still little and our youngest son had a cold. I still feel badly about leaving them. On the other hand, it’s one of the times I did some of my most creative parenting. Before I left I bought a tiny gift for each of them for every day I was gone. Then I gave them clues about where they would find them. The clues were written by a fictional character I called Fergus. It was very memorable for me and I hope, for them. I think of that as one of the smarter things I did during their formative years.

On the flipside, I remember laughing when my daughter told me she wanted to be a chef. I don’t know what I was thinking. Maybe it was the fact that she had never cooked so much as a three minute egg in her young life. But whatever the case, I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t have laughed because she’s called me ‘the dream crusher’ ever since and that was decades ago. She chuckles when she says it. Nevertheless, I was obviously an insensitive clod. It makes me wonder what other awful things I did that I’ve since forgotten about.

What about you? What’s the best thing you’ve done for children, yours or someone else’s? Or would you like to share the mistakes you’ve made along the way?

home fires

Although Home Fires, the second book in my Hope Springs series, doesn’t come out until June, I have a number of advance reading copies. Leave a comment and I’ll choose a winner to receive one of those hot-off-the-presses copies.

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28 Responses to Parenting…and Another Freebie!

  1. Hi, Lois. Encouraging my daughter to follow her passion I consider to be my most positive parenting accomplishment. She always loved horses, which were my passion as well. From the time she claimed the back end of my horse, (where she sat, bareback from age three to five), to 5:30 am summer rides before the sun was too hot, to finding a local trainer with awesome ethics, through the 4 H horse program, FFA, and WSCA, Christmas and Spring Breaks touring the states for horsey colleges, to her present job at the United States Equestrian Federation, I look back on happy memories and am proud of my girl. Truthfully, when you and I met at Champ Show a couple years back, I was full-filling a dream I had for her, to run as queen. She skipped that one! How wonderful that I was able to benefit from all our work together.

    • loisgreiman says:

      Hey Pat, thanks for stopping in. My mother was also very encouraging that I follow my dream with horses. Even though I spent years making virtually no money apprenticing on horse farms, she was one hundred percent behind me and I still really appreciate that. I’m sure your daughter does, too. So good job, you!

  2. Sue says:

    Lois – I hope this book is as good as your others. I am really glad I found you. Keep up the good work. Sue

  3. Liz Flaherty says:

    I told my daughter once that I was sorry I hadn’t spent more “quality time” with her and her brothers. (Remember when that was a buzzword for parenting.) She, a teacher and mother of three, said sometimes the sheer quantity of time mattered just as much. If I wasn’t at work, I was with them. I don’t know how right she was, but I appreciate her telling me that.

    Great post.

  4. Kathleen O says:

    I have many, many children.. Well I am an Aunt to many children, some by blood and others in a honorary sense. But what I have always tried to give the kids is my time. Whether it is here at my home or at theirs. Or maybe it will be an outing or just a phone call or text or email message. They are all my kids and I let them know that they are loved and what ever they need that I can provide, I will do my best. My oldest niece gave me a music box with this inscribed on the front which says it all ” Aunt is a special word- A word that bring to mind Someone who is thoughtful, Understanding, dear and kind- Someone who is quick to praise and cheer and comfort too-. But they can be exasperating too.. after all they are not perfect and neither am I…

  5. Anne says:

    I give them advice, and help them in any way to make their lives easier and more enjoyable, whether it is babysitting, inviting them for meals or special gifts that they would never purchase. I feel it is wonderful to indulge them when I can.

  6. Cheryl Carlson says:

    My biggest guilt trip as a parent was allowing my daughter to apply to Ivy league colleges. Several sent her letters encouraging her to apply. I didn’t want to be a “dream crusher” ;). When emails started coming in, they were all rejection letters. We were both devastated. She eventually ended up at a local private liberal arts university. Earlier this year she was asked by her school to apply for a year long program at Oxford University in the UK! My thought was….do I let her apply and get heartbroken again? She did apply and was accepted by Oxford for the year long program. I’m losing my daughter for a year, but so happy that another dream wasn’t crushed!!

  7. ellie says:

    We hope to take the kids and their kids on a memorable trip so that they will always remember this special time together.

  8. Leanna H says:

    The best thing for a child that I have done is encourage my brothers stepsons love of reading. He is four and he loves it when I give him books for birthdays and holidays.

  9. Robin Allen says:

    I took my daughter to the library when she was 12 and asked the Librarian to help me find a copy of Mrs. Mike for my daughter to read. She was so excited. She and I had both read it about that age. Since then my daughter has been in love with reading. The thing I feared would ruin my children’s chance at a happy life was when I made the difficult decision to divorce their dad. Since then they have both come to me to say thank you. They were able to grow up knowing both parents loved them, but to be able to have the relationship they wanted to have with both of us on their own terms. And now that I’m a grandma, my daughter says she wants to raise her daughter exactly like I raised her. Those were some of the happiest words I’ve ever heard. And she is reading daily to her daughter at 18 mos old.

  10. Nora Braun says:

    Great question because we always seem to think we could/should have done more. I asked my daughter once if she remembered when I was crazy (my view) and she said she only remembered me singing good night in the hallway between her and her sisters room. Then recently my daughter posted an old picture of the family on our sailboat with the caption of what a great upbringing she had and hoping she could do as well for her children! Knowing her she is worrying in advance :-). Our memories are selective and I guess we just prefer to remember the happy ones! I know I do.

  11. Teresa Knight says:

    It’s true you always do wonder what we could/should have done. I always tried to give me kids the support to follow their passions, no matter what they were. My daughter, at a very young age, loved to draw and color on everything, so I gave her one wall in her room she could use for her “art”. Over the years the art changed dramatically and while I didn’t always like the pictures on the wall, I thought it important for her to have a creative outlet. At her portfolio show at school (she just graduated with a Bachelors in Graphic Design) I heard her tell someone that one of her favorite things growing up was “writing on the wall”. 🙂

  12. diane says:

    Being an avid reader I wanted my children to learn early how invaluable the library was and they were taken to programs which were entertaining and enriched their lives. Books and music play a big role now in their interests.

  13. Lois, you’re one of the most dedicated moms I know. Remember when we took that road trip to–where was it? Nebraska? Man, you were on the phone with all 3 kids almost constantly. Fortunately, there wasn’t much traffic. Plus, you’re a much better driver than I am. Except for the cell phone thing.
    But that was then. These days I’ll bet you’re telling the kids, “Don’t DARE talk or text while you’re driving my grandkids around.”

    • loisgreiman says:

      I do remember that trip. It was to Omaha. My daughter and I both have blue tooths (teeth) so we talk constantly when we drive. 🙂

      And thanks, Kathy, that means a lot coming from you.

  14. I tried so hard, with our three kids…all of the lessons and activities and days trips, every pet the boys could think of (Dad finally put his foot down when Emily came along and I caved, something I still regret. When she is out of grad school and student housing, I am going to buy her that hedgehog!)

    But I have many regrets, too–remembering things I wished I’d done better, or hadn’t done, had said, or didn’t say and should have. And remembering the years when I had almost continual cluster headaches for a good two weeks at a time, and was impatient. I wish I could live those years over and do everything right!!

  15. Quilt Lady says:

    I have always encouraged my son to do well in school and he did. He has always wanted to be a computer programmer. We bought him his first computer when he was about 9. He just graduated from college with a degree in computer science. So maybe someday he will have his ideal job.

  16. Teresa Hughes says:

    Recently I made necklaces for my children. Each necklace is different. On my daughters there is a green stone (her favorite collor) and a dog tag. On the dog tag it says Blessed. I told her I chose it because she has been blessed with many talents and she should always remember to use those talents throughout her life. I also said that her sweet, loving personality has blessed many including me and not to ever forget that.

    My youngest son’s has a dog tag that says Dream and a small cross. The cross is because I want him to remember his love for God. The dream is because he has special needs and has been told by people he can’t do this and that. So I wanted him to remember that with faith and hard work he could obtain any dream.

    Lastly my oldest son”s has a cross and a dog tag that says Believe. Believe was because a lot of the time he doesn’t believe in himself. I told bim he can do anything he sets his mind to he just needed to believe in hisself the way those who love him believe in him. And the cross was because anytime he believes he is alone to always remember God is always there so he is never alone.

    The necklaces made impacts on my kids and was a new way for me to express my love and support to them.

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