"We're not helping raise children -- we are helping raise adults."
Teacher Beth delivered that, as well as a few other eye-opening lines -- during preschool graduation last week. Her point wasn't that kids can't be kids. On the contrary, with 30 years of guiding little ones under her belt, she truly understands the crazy fun and delirious wildness inherent in being under the age of six.
The focus, which despite the crying babies and mumbled "be quiets" from the parents actually trying to listen, was rather on being consequent. True. And consistent. On delivering clear guidelines and sound principles and exemplifying that manners and kindness and an attitude of respect-your-elders still very much applies today.
All parents know, this is no easy feat. We have fantastic days when time-outs are applied fairly and calmness exudes, even during the most trying moments. And then there are those other little blips. The ones that keep you, as a parent, awake late into the evening and the ones that result in unappealing "what ifs" and "shoulds" and perfectly crystalline hindsight.
Despite knowing that nobody is perfect, least of all those of us trying to herd little guys onto a positive and productive path, it's still so important to remember that being a responsible adult doesn't mean you're perfect.
It does mean that you should have an open mind. A willingness to listen. And the honesty to admit that while love can certainly conquer a lot -- it takes more than that to teach your kids how to live, laugh and grow.