"If I had my child to raise all over again,
I'd build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I'd finger-paint more, and point the finger less.
I would do less correcting and more connecting.
I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.
I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.
I'd do more hugging and less tugging."
~Diane Loomans, from "If I Had My Child To Raise Over Again"

Note: A friend sent this in response to my earlier post.Posting here to share. And yes if i had my child to raise all over again, THESE are precisely what I'd do!
19 Responses
  1. rads Says:

    usha - I did exactly the latter with my 2 older ones, now that I am fortunate to have a 3rd, am doing more of the former. Lucky me :)

  2. This is so true Usha! Thanks for sharing this lovely poem.

  3. Rubic_Cube Says:

    awesome. now that i m a parent of a one year old... it is important that i remember this. but what ever happened to the proverb - spare the rod and spoil the child?

  4. this is such a wonderful post.. i will have it recorded with me.. for a future use

  5. Hip Grandma Says:

    Nice piece.wish I could go back in time.

  6. Paavai Says:

    Very nice poem...

    Today the first thing a boy/girl does after getting the job, is apply for a credit card, then comes the home loan, with stuff bought with credit cards he/she wooes the opposite sex and gets married, then comes the reality of having to pay bills, a child comes along the way only to be deprived of all that said in the poem, since the parents are either paying off the bills they acquired and their home loans or getting into more and more debts to appease their children.

    Sometimes I strongly feel against the IT Moguls who brain washed an entire generation into believing success is equal to wealth.

    Money is the most addictive substance and does long term damage, in the form of children deprived of parental time and love.

    Nice post Usha

  7. Shruthi Says:

    How beautiful! Worth making a note of! Thank you, Usha!

  8. Artnavy Says:

    I have been and will continue to try and do more of the needful with anush-

    the previous 2 posts were also so true but what happens when a dad falters- he must take the effort to explain his bahaviour so mistakes do not get repeated

  9. I just posted a comment to one other blogger who had expressed a wee bit of concern on raising children. Would share that here:

    Where there is love (as J Krishnamurti would say) there is no responsibility.

    Nice poem, perhaps reflects this thought beautifully.

  10. Mahadevan Says:

    Beautiful lines worth cherishing and practising. But see the reality!

    We find plesure in pointing an accusing finger. The art of connecting is unknown. We have no time to 'stand and stare'. Even self esteem is last among Maslow's 'Hiearchy of needs'.

  11. Usha Says:

    Rads: I know another couple who had a child after their child had left for college and this time around they were more relaxed. Lucky you indeed!
    (I have a secret thought that most grand parents do this with their grand children precisely for this reason!)

    Vidhya:And you can get it right the first time itself!

    Rubic cube: Yes, please enjoy the whole thing! The rod has been outlawed long ago. This is a fun way to grow with the child!

    Gomathi: Please do. All the best!

    Hipgrandma: But you are getting to do all this with megha and arya so where is the need to go back.

    Paavai: I agree. we seem to run after the wrong things losing out on the essentials which we can never get back.

    Shruthi:I will pass on all yout thanks to the friend who sent this. I am glad you liked it.

    Artnavy: Good for you.
    If only the dad knew where he was going wrong - he wont be busy defending his son.

    Bala: yes where there is love, there is no responsibility.

    Mahadevan: What a pity! But I am optimistic, I believe things are changing and modern day YUPPY parents spend a lot of time (perhaps a little too much) enjoying their kids growing up. Of course there are also cases where they make up for quality time with Gifts which is never the same.

  12. I have already realised that this is what I actually need to do and I really don't want my child to remember me as a stressed out, over obsessed disciplinarian who had very little tolerance for a lot of things but it is so hard because my intentions are good after all and I only want to raise him right! But really something to remember when parenting.

  13. thanks for sharing. will keep in mind

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Loved the poem and have put it up on my blog too :)

  15. Wild Reeds Says:

    Diane Oolmans is lucky she had the chance to raise a child, rightly or wrongly, at least once. There are many who don't get even that.

  16. passerby55 Says:

    Hi Usha,

    Many of my friends(including me) who are mothers and have grown up teens now,say the same.

    I sometimes wonder Why is that a mother is never satisfied when it comes to giving to her child.

    God was right when he made Mothers.
    Love is never enough.

  17. I have been doing this and sometimes get stares from ppl who believe I should be more regimented and strict... but its nice to have it reaffirmed by someone older...

  18. Oh dear! Beautiful and moving! It also made me sit down and evaluate, and I fail miserably. The intentions have always been there, but I find myself falling short on patience, patience, patience....
    God! grant me patience to be all that I want to my son!

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