Loving Children to Be Individuals
Loving Children to Be Individuals

By Bernadette Dunn

When I was growing up, I didn't have all the neatest gadgets or latest fashions.  In my young mind, I was envious of others material things.  When I became an adult, I realized the greatest gift of my childhood was love freely given in ways not obvious.  I was also gifted with challenges to overcome, they made me strong and resilient.  When I had my daughter, I felt guilty for not having much money to provide for her, but I was too stubborn to give her up.  I gave her love and guidance and discipline.  She has grown into an independent, loving, head strong individual who chooses her path. 

She tells me she wants to have a loving relationship like I have with the only father she's ever known.  Looking back, I am so grateful to appreciate her individuality.  She has been through much and had her heart broken a time or two, now.  She is resilient and remains a loving individual.  Being abandoned by her biological father and then being adopted by my husband, first left a hole and then was filled with a loving person willing to step up and be solid influence in a little girls heart and life. 

She has also had the love and support of both sets of grandparents.  Though my dad past away when she was eight, the short time he had her in his life, my dad packed a life time of love and care.  She still misses him terribly.  My mom has been staying with us for a couple years and will be leaving again in a few short months.  She been amazing in contributing to the interesting dynamic between strong individuals with very different opinions.

I found the dichotomy in parenting styles from my husbands parents and our style challenging last year.  We invited the parents along on a cruise with us.  Our kids were able to go do their own thing.  We did require one meal with them a day.  They had a blast.  The in-laws normally want to spend every waking hour together, very stifling.  I was proud of my kids when they were able to stand their ground and do their thing.

I'm enjoying an easier relationship with them.  Life is good.

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writing actquest
Writing about living my life out loud. I want to write a series of essays on my experiences.
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