My first association to this picture isn't pleasant. It's a death threat. Made by my dad.
"If you smoke, I'll kill you long before the cigarettes do."
Now that's good parenting.
I'm grateful to have parents who shared their opinions with me. While I never truly believed my dad would hurt me -- he wouldn't -- I knew exactly where he stood on the issue of smoking. And I internalized his beliefs about it. When I see the advertisements urging parents to "talk with their kids about smoking," I remember my dad's approach. It was succinct and effective. You can't argue with that.
If you know Leading Mama, you know I have strong opinions. And that I'm not afraid to express them. Not to my Leading Man, not to my kids, and not to other moms. I say what I think. Unapologetically.
I want my kids to think for themselves and to come to their own conclusions about important, complicated issues. I don't believe in parenting my force or by fear, and I'd never try to bully them into believing what I believe. But I don't keep my opinions under wraps, either. I don't believe kids learn to think for themselves and express their opinions if they grow up in a vanilla world where no one takes a stand or a side.
It's important to me that my kids know what I value, and I try to show them through my actions. I tell them, too, because I don't want critical lessons to slip by unnoticed.
I haven't resorted to death threats. Yet. But I'm not opposed to them either.
What is the most memorable thing a parent said to you?