It is hard to believe that my son, Brandon, recently celebrated his thirty-eighth birthday. We have been through a lot together. There were many times I felt like giving up and felt beaten down, but my love for my son kept me going. Brandon has taught me so much and these are just a few of the wonderful lessons and tools I learned while raising Brandon:
- Parents set an example by their actions, not their words.
- Let’s not allow our fears to become our children’s fears.
- Remember to pause, breathe, and regroup throughout the day.
- It is important to learn about and celebrate a person’s differences.
- We all have choices and options – choose them wisely.
- Taking care of yourself first gives you the strength to carry on.
- Encouraging words help to build self-esteem.
- Live in the moment rather than in the future – it’s called the “what if” zone.
- Being kind will open more doors for you and your children.
- You don’t have to listen to negativity — trust yourself, trust your instincts.
- Be willing to be flexible and to change your ways.
- Replace worry with wonder and see life from a more positive perspective.
- When you allow yourself to surrender, acceptance follows.
- Love and support help to build a strong foundation in any home.
I cannot thank my son enough for silently demanding that I grow and change every step of the way. He helped me to see life though his eyes and taught me to believe in myself and to be more creative, kind, and courageous. Yes, it took time to see the good and to be able to switch from feeling negative to being positive. However, when I surrendered and was able to accept my son just as he was, I became a more compassionate, and loving mother.
As parents, we hold the key to our children’s future.