As for my daughter well she is happier than I have ever seen her. She is gaining back her self esteem from the St. Patrick’s Day Everyone is a little Irish on St. Patrick’s Day except Norwegians We’re still Norwegians shirt but in fact I love this emotional abuse from him. She has good male role models around her, who are helping her every step of the way. She tells me that the only happy memories of her childhood, only include me, and for now, she says that she never thinks about him. She is resilient and strong, so I pray that she will come out of this knowing that she is beautiful, courageous, wise, and loved! I’m proud of creating family traditions and rituals that will hopefully create lasting memories. Many of these in our family are religious (we are Jewish) and some are secular. Some examples are a regular Friday night Shabbat dinner with my sister and her family where we eat a special meal, say the traditional Shabbat blessings, and sing songs. Others are building a sukkah temporary outdoor hut every year during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot and eating dinner outside in the sukkah with family and friends for 7 nights. We also have started taking each child on weekend trips alone once a year so they each get a special adventure and one-on-one time with a parent. We have a Halloween tradition too– early pizza dinner with cousins, lots of photos with Marc on our front doorstep before trick or treating he tries to find the scariest mask he can every year so the photos are hilarious, and trick or treating in the same neighborhood every year. The list goes on. Some of my own best childhood memories are of family rituals and traditions like these and I believe they contribute to a happy, meaningful childhood. The act of repeating the same traditions every year or every week (in the case of Shabbat) brings meaning to these occasions and creates lasting, warm memories. Another thing I’m proud of is creating routine and structure for my kids very early on. I believe young children thrive and feel more secure when their lives have structure. We implemented regular nap times and bedtimes, consistent bedtime routines, healthy meals at regular times, etc. Ofcourse travel and special occasions come up but in the early years our kids daily lives are generally very structured and predictable. We also try to teach empathy in personal interactions between siblings and friends. Our kids have started to really internalize this and now ask to make baskets of food and other items for homeless men and women they see outside our local grocery store.
St. Patrick’s Day Everyone is a little Irish on St. Patrick’s Day except Norwegians We’re still Norwegians shirt, hoodie, tank top, sweater and long sleeve t-shirt
Spontaneous fun is also something I’m proud of. While their lives are structured and predictable generally in the St. Patrick’s Day Everyone is a little Irish on St. Patrick’s Day except Norwegians We’re still Norwegians shirt but in fact I love this early years, every now and then breaking the routine and impulsively doing something very fun and special is great for the whole family. We recently started having spontaneous dance parties in our house before bedtime where we blast music and everyone dances around the house. Or even just spontaneously deciding to have a pizza and movie night and let the kids stay up later than usual makes things fun. People certainly aren’t having kids for actively moral reasons. But is it immoral? On some levels, yes, if it’s simply done for the sake of the parents with no regard for the actual gravity of what they’re doing. In fact, that seems never to be discussed either – actually creating sentient life is, basically, playing God. You decide that some people are gonna exist. You can affect their quality of life but ultimately you can’t control it. My parents weren’t expecting me 25 years ago, I know that much. Also, most families have both parents working this is especially true for large families. In their downtime, the parents have to do bills, cleaning, cooking, etc. That does not leave a lot of time to connect with their children, and many children fall to the wayside and feel neglected. This is especially true for less troublesome children. The louder kids get more attention while the quiet, well-behaved ones are overlooked because they don’t require as much monitoring. After working and cooking and cleaning all day, every day for years on end, people get a little tired. They are stressed out and cranky and, more often than not, the parents will take this out on their children. This is usually unintentional, but people are a lot less patient when they are overworked and their tempers are a lot shorter. Children, obviously, require a lot of patience, so this is not a good combination. Less-than-stellar parents may even come to resent their children for making them have to work so hard, which is even worse for the children to have to deal with. In very large families, it is common for the older kids to take care of the younger ones. I know a lot of people who actually list this as a benefit of having a large family. They think it is good because it teaches responsibility at a young age.