Parents Like Ours
This week my brother is at his annual convention for the American Association for Clinical Chemistry with 21,000 other scientists. Dave is a past president and a past board member. He currently chairs a committee for publications and he still lobbies at the federal level to get more funding for clinical chemistry which would then save all of us money on pharmaceuticals.
Last night Dave was presented with a prestigious award for his many years of service to the Association and to the Academy (the Association’s teaching arm). I think he has taught there every year for 30 years in a row. I’m truly proud of him for many reasons, most importantly, he is a strong believer, committed husband, devoted father and grandfather, and a loving and supportive brother.
Dave’s success started with our parents who set both Dave and I on the right trajectory to discover our gifts and passions and then to want to use them to better others. You can be parents like our parents.
- Pay attention to daily work and not just test scores.
- Be available, offer to help, and be kind when you do.
- Talk about the application of what kids learn and not just how they did on what they learned.
- Take educational trips.
- Prioritize the extended family as much as possible and appropriate. Honor your elders.
- Read widely.
- Involve your kids in athletics, music, dance, and the like at least for a season or two to see if they’re talented and want to develop their skills. They’ll learn about teamwork, character, the role of practice, and the benefit and joy of performance. Athletics and music brought both Dave and I great joy. Dave still plays his trumpet in a church orchestra so it has provided him with many, many years of service and community.
- Help your children like and love their siblings.
- Attend patriotic events.
- Listen to speeches and critique them. Listen to the news and talk about government, politics, and the church.
- Teach your children how to form and defend their own opinions.
- Honor teachers by talking well of them in front of your children and invite them over for dinner. Surprise them with blessings every so often.
- Attend church and get involved there.
- Do things together with your children. Mother and son and mother and daughter and father and son and father and daughter.
Our parents weren’t perfect, but they were very good and loving parents. I’m sure they did more than I’ve listed here, but I pray this list gives you food for thought. Dave and I are forever grateful to them.