The ‘Queen of Questions’ Chimes In

Many thanks to those who responded to my inquiry yesterday about how much parents should get in their children’s business. Several commented here on the blog, several of you emailed, several sent a text, and several called. Thank you. Very helpful and much appreciated insight.

Dear ole mom, however? Well, she just up and wrote her on thoughts in treatise form on what her son had to say. If anyone knows my mom – she not only has ALOT of questions; she has a lot to say, period.

You can read her entire post here.

What I appreciated most about her thoughts was what a very, very, very, very wise man told her one day in the doctor’s office when all of us youngins’ were little.

In her own words:

“I was given permission to be this way by a person I trusted thoroughly when my children were growing up — their pediatrician, Dr. William Walker in Decatur, AL.  Oh my!  What a wonderful doctor.  Such a wise man.  Every family should have someone like Dr. Walker.  I can’t count the number of times he looked over his glasses at me to ‘tell it to me straight’ when he thought I needed to adjust something in the way I was handling the upbringing of my children.  I usually made it to the car before I dissolved into tears, but I took his advice to heart, and everything he said proved to be correct.  Ultimately, we all benefited from his knowledge and frankness.  Once, when I had firstborn Laura in his office for her yearly check-up, she stepped out for a couple of minutes to be weighed, measured and probably given her hated inoculations.  I mentioned to Dr. Walker that Laura was very quiet.  She would come in from school in the afternoons, go up to her room, and we wouldn’t hear a peep out of her until suppertime.  I remember saying, “Is that all right?  Should I leave her alone like that?”  His response — looking directly at me, once again over his glasses –‘Do whatever you have to do to stay in her world.’ Now, I admit that I had to think about that for awhile.  At that point in Laura’s life, she didn’t WANT me to ‘stay in her world.’  She wanted to be left alone, but in my heart, I knew it wasn’t best for her to internalize so much without learning to share her concerns and problems.  I started by going upstairs, knocking on her door, and going in to sit on her bed with her for a few minutes in the afternoons just skimming the surface of events from that day.  She didn’t always act like she enjoyed my little visits, but deep down I think the few minutes of individual attention started to grow on her.  She was never a behavior problem in school, and her grades were always at the top.  It was more a matter of what was in her heart.  With Dr. Walker’s urging coupled with my already-curious nature, I felt like I had my marching orders to plunge ahead.  My other two children were easier and more talkative than Laura, but they each posed their own challenges in terms of getting inside their heads.  I really had to become a student of my children.”

Parents out there: I know most of you reading this never met Dr. William Walker of Decatur, Alabama. But no matter where you are, how your children are wired, who your mama is, or what parenting type you aspire to – THAT IS SOME INCREDIBLE ADVICE.

Do whatever you have to do to stay in their world.

What’s your strategy? How will you intentionally do that this weekend?

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2 thoughts on “The ‘Queen of Questions’ Chimes In

  1. Ilene Harral says:

    Matt, you are very fortunate to have had wonderful parents especially a mother who worked so hard at her job!

  2. cindysl says:

    Like your mom, I am “all up in” my kids business. My plan is to condition them to tell me all about their day – the good, bad and ugly – in hopes that it becomes second nature when they are older lol. Anyway, sometimes I think I need to back off, so I needed to read this. Your mom raised an exceptional son, so I feel certain I must be doing the right thing. Good post(s).

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