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Parenting Lesson From "The Odd Life of Timothy Green"

Photo courtesy of Amadika


I went to a movie a while back.  It’s the first movie I’ve seen in a while and as the title suggests, it was a bit odd.  The story is about a couple who was have difficulty conceiving and in fact, were unable to have a baby.  As they grieved that news, they began talking about what their son would be like if they could actually have one.  They wrote down all his attributes and characteristics, cried a little, and then placed the pieces of paper in a box.  They then buried the box in the garden.  It’s at this point that things got odd.  It rained in the night you see, and in the middle of the night, a little boy shows up in the house covered in mud and with little leaves growing from his legs.  You can guess where he came from.  As time went on, they loved him and he displayed all the characteristics they had hoped he would have…just not in the way they envisioned it.  As I said, the movie was a bit odd and I would wait for the DVD but it was a nice evening out for us and got me to thinking about my parenting.


I wish I had done some things differently.  My four boys are 14 to 21 years old and I influence them differently now than when they were little.  The biggest thing I regret is not being more conscious about the character traits I wanted them to develop and not being more deliberate in teaching them things I thought were important.  Much of that I left for them to imbibe by osmosis and observation.


Because a significant part of being healthy is having a healthy family, I humbly offer these suggestions on parenting for those who are still in the family rearing business.


  1. Be conscious about imparting your values.  Think about your life and decide what is important and look for ways to impart these traits to your children.  Talk about them and live them out.  When you give them a foundation like this, they’ll not easily depart from it.
  2. Study your kids.  Find out who they are, what they like, what they don’t like.  Observe their tendencies, strengths and weaknesses.  Few things speak love louder then being understood.  It is especially important for fathers to understand their children and to delight in who they are.
  3. Keep the important things important.  In the movie, Timothy’s parents wanted him to score the winning goal in a soccer game.  As it turned out, he did, but for the other team.  Dad was disappointed but that soon faded as a more urgent issue came up.  In the grand scheme of things, character is more important that grades, laughter is better than a clean room, Kindness lasts longer than winning.


It’s something to think about as you raise your own children.


What have been your biggest challenges as a parent?

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