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Mother's Corner

Patience, priorities are paramount for parents

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Life has a way of getting in the way of plans.

Prioritization is paramount to getting anything done. Having to prioritize can be a hard concept for many adults to get a hold of, and of course the same holds true for our children. Without some kind of system, we may be able to function; however, the project will be increasingly more time-consuming and challenging to complete. Our plans are our template of the connections necessary to create the pattern.

As we season in life, we only hope that our nagging, praying, teaching, talking and listening will create the fruit that is healthy for children. Failing to plan will cause the plan to fail. This time of year, children begin to want to become better angels because, if they do, they will benefit from some gift given with no expectations and no strings attached.

Over this past month, I have seen my children and others’ children struggle with next steps. I have seen children emerge in the mornings from pop-up tents with fresh clothes and shoes going to school, I have seen children who are self-destructive and fretful; some that are extremely anxious, distraught; some who no longer live with their parents; some in foster care; some in group homes; some living in cages; some sleeping on the ground; some withdrawn and confused. Children who feel misunderstood and unheard cannot be soothed by kissing their boo-boos and talking. There must be a plan which prioritizes their well-being over yours. And they must commit by showing that they can. A hard-fought C is better than a lazy B.

As parents, whose job it is to help our children navigate the learning process, we sometimes have to step out of self and do that which will produce the most fruit. Our children are indeed our fruitful future. If we do not like what our children deliver and produce now, we must — I emphasize, must — do something about it. I speak for myself and for all of those of us whose lives continue to spin intensely; however, we must slow it down and tend to our children. Each of our children is different and that difference needs to be respected. There should be a commitment from us to do better so that our children can be better and have a chance to learn to prioritize their lives for themselves.

We must begin to slow ourselves down so that we can teach with patience instead of with the edge of one who already knows the answer.

Yolande Barial is a Tracy resident and mother. Her column appears monthly in the Tracy Press. Comments can be sent to tpletters@tracypress.com.

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