What I Learned from Oprah on Raising Kids

I’ve been griping a lot about  the final season of Oprah, because I hate a clip show. Yesterday’s episode on The Oprah Show’s Greatest Lessons was worth watching and I took away a few lessons that resonated with my life as a mom.

Toni Morrison talked about the importance of showing joy on your face when you talk to your kids- letting your face say what is in your heart.

What I have found is that when kids are very little, it is easy to show joy because they are so cute- when they are older, school-aged and beyond- it is too easy to be critical. And it is very easy to be distracted.  “Look at this mom!”  “That’s great, honey!” (not looking up).  Toni Morrison pointed out that kids really know when our faces and voices are not genuine.

Oprah also recapped the terrible story of Brenda Slaby, who left her toddler daughter strapped in her carseat on a hot summer day because she was overwhelmed at work and home. Her daughter died.   A woman from Australia saw the show and commented:  . “I just felt complete compassion for her because it was a wake-up call for me because I was going down that path,” . “I was trying to live the life I had before [my daughter] Grace [was born]. Completely putting her last and making her fit in my life rather than me fitting in with hers.”

That last part made me think, too.  Of course my life is completely different after having kids.  But sometimes I need to remind myself that non essential work stuff, emptying the dishwasher, the phone calls and Facebook can wait.

My girlfriend’s mom once told her:  “I wish I’d worried less about the housework and played with you and your brother more.”

Being a mom is a special gift.   So I wish for more patience and showing the love I feel each day for my beautiful, sweet, kind and funny children.  They deserve it and so do I.

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