Raising Sons

The art of mothering is to teach the art of living to children.
– Elain Heffner, O Magazine, May 2003

  • Children should believe that parents really do have eyes in the back of their head. I took full advantage of any reflective surface to keep my eyes on the boys. Understanding each one’s personality and habits also helped. For many years, they did believe I had a second set of eyes.
  • Take time to listen to your child. You’ll be amazed at how the child views the world. Learn from them and see just how amazing our world is.
  • Read, read, read to them! It heightens their imagination and creativity.
  • We had a couple of respect rules when it came to dining. First, everyone wears a shirt. Second, be respectful of others who are eating: no showing food, no throwing food, and no bodily noises (in other words, burping is not acceptable).
  • Each child was allowed to choose one “hate” food and three “don’t like” foods each year which could not be changed until the next year. They were not served their “hate” food during that year, and they only had to eat three tablespoons of their “don’t like” foods. They were expected to eat everything else on their plate. Consequently, they tried lots of new foods and recipes. If a food item or a recipe was deemed unacceptable by the whole group, it was not served again.