Letters to the Editor

Thanksgiving: Give thanks for parents

Thanksgiving has always been a time of reflection.

We owe more than we can express to our parents, who literally shaped us from an exciting idea to mature independence. First, let us give thanks to them for having the commitment to dedicate their lives to raise children. Putting aside one’s own selfish pleasures and conveniences for the sake of another is the hallmark of a loving person. To those with children, let us give thanks to you, where deferred gratification is a daily challenge. Next, let us give thanks to parents for protecting children. Kids are vulnerable, and keeping them free from harm allows them to develop in a context of support and security. Kids without this safety often are thrust prematurely into the adult world and later feel saddened that they missed the opportunities of growing up without conflict.

Finally, let us give thanks for parents as teachers. Children are born as fairly undifferentiated personalities, and parents, over the years, transmit literally millions of messages which eventually shape children’s personalities. While conflict or self-absorbed messages can have a negative effect on a child’s developing personality, messages based upon parent’s reflected values can teach positive habits commonly associated with personal happiness and success. This teaching is continuous throughout childhood and probably throughout life. The more thoughtful the message, the more prepared the child is to confront the developmental challenges of life.

So, let us give thanks for good parenting -- the commitment, protection and teaching which develops a child’s best qualities and benefits the entire community.

David Celio, PH.D.

Oak Harbor

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