Dearest Boo, I have always loved this song. It always reminds me of the time that you were little and my beliefs on parenting. Parenting is the hardest job in the world. The hours are long, the responsibilities are huge, a 24/7 job with no salary, vacations, or weekends off. There is no sick time off either. It requires a ton of patience, practice and thick skin. Parents shoulder the responsibilities, put in the time and care, the blood, sweat and tears and hope for the best. We don’t know until our children are in the mid-twenties if we’ve done a good job or not. However, the rewards more than surpass the demands. Bringing up our little treasures is by far one of the most difficult yet pleasurable tasks that there is in life.
As a parent you must respect your child’s mother/father. Even if you are divorced, put the battle-axes down and respect her/him – especially in front of your children. Your children will mimic your behavior both now and later in their adult lives. The way you treat your child’s mother /father will influence the way the child will view his/her role when he/she becomes a parent. Make parenting as much a partnership as possible.
Introduce your spirituality into the lives of your children. This begins, for most, with bedtime prayers and a prayer before meals but it is at its best when it goes beyond those moments and incorporates life lessons. Life lessons are, for example, those times when your child’s team doesn’t win the big game – you should comment upon how winning isn’t everything and that fun, teamwork and participation are the key reasons to compete. Another way would be to talk about life and death in context of God’s love and place for us in Heaven. Living by example is the most meaningful spiritual lesson you’ll ever give to your children.
You never know when you’re making a memory. Some parents miss chances to spend time with their child because they are workaholics or would rather be on the golf course, shopping, etc. Once these chances are gone, they are gone forever and the memory that may have been created, is lost forever. Establish the intimacy of closeness with your children while they are young because it’s next to impossible to do it later in life. Creating memories is the main ingredient for providing meaning to your child’s life.
Both parents are of great influences in a life of their child. They have a strong affect on their child whether they never spend one day with them or whether they are present every day of their lives. A father forever affects his child’s picture of a man and of a provider, while the mother affects her child’s picture of a woman, a nurturer, and a provider. Many little boys grow up and want to be just like their father. Many girls grow up and want to marry someone just like their father. Many boys grow up to want to marry someone like their mother. And many girls grow up and want to be just like their mother.
Another way to become a great parent is to verbally affirm and praise your child. A child’s confidence and security can be built up greatly with kind words from a father or mother. Consider the power of your words and the affect that one negative or positive comment can have on your child. For most children it is the negative comments they will remember, so look for ways to cut out negative comments or criticism. Let your child grow up with nothing but praise and loving words from their parent. There will be times that your child will need to hear criticism from you, their parent. The goal of proper criticism is to get your message across to your child. That means you have to have a message. If you don’t have an idea you are trying to convey, then all you are doing by criticizing your child is venting your own anger and frustration. You will do nothing positive for your child, and your child will not change his behavior in the future. Remember, your goal with criticism is to educate, not to punish or embarrass or to seek revenge against the child. When you criticize you must have something you are trying to teach.
Make sure you do it with the understanding that it is the behavior, not the child, that is upsetting. It has to be clear to your child that it is the behavior that upsets you, not him. Be a parent not a buddy/friend to your children. Of course, you are a friend to them, but ultimately you are their parent. Children need moral and ethical guidance and instruction from their parents. They don’t need to figure it out alone. This results in disaster. Encourage your children when they are doing well. Often as parents we see the negative; therefore, we must also make sure to praise them when they do well.
Have fun and show affection. Parenthood is a monumental responsibility but it is also a role in which having fun provides meaningful moments. Having fun with your child shows them that you enjoy being their parent. They will forever remember this lesson. Some parents are not naturally inclined to be openly affectionate and they struggle to communicate their love for their children. Hugging children is easy and it is among the most meaningful expressions of love you can give. Hug your kids. And whisper “I love you” as you do. The power of this simple act cannot be over stated.
And I found that the best way to have fun and show affection at the same time was with Butterfly Kisses. These are so fun and easy to do – and bonus is the amazing look of total joy on your child’s face and their delightful laugh. A Butterfly Kiss is administered thusly:
1. Get your eyelashes up against your child’s bare skin, so close that when you blink, your eyelashes caress their skin.
2. Open and close your eyes rapidly. Each time your eyelashes brush the other person’s skin, it is one Butterfly Kiss.
Butterfly Kisses can be on their sweet, sweet little cheek or on their roly poly little belly. Either place you are able to suck in that sweet, sweet baby smell. Is there anything better than that smell? What is this smell, you may ask. No, it’s not the smell of spit up, or dirty diapers, or drool. It’s a smell that exists right on the outer limits of our perception, indescribable yet real, a sensation we respond to emotionally almost despite ourselves. It’s a smell that makes you wonder if you should cuddle them or devour them for your next meal. It is a yummy, delicious smell. And science tells us that it is real. In Sweden, a team of scientists has uncovered a distinct new-baby smell that may act as a pheromone to reinforce the sensation that babies are cute and adorable. What’s more, men seem to be more attuned to this smell than women. Baby Love…………..
These cookies, with the X and O design, are the signs of love. Hugs and Kisses. And they are “baby” sized. Perfect for your own sweet, precious Valentine. Happy Valentine’s Day, Boo. Joy Rising!
Hugs and Kisses Cookies
Prep Time: 4 hours (this includes 2 hours chill time in fridge, bake time and decorating time)
Bake Time: 12-14 minutes at 375 degrees
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 c powdered sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 1/2 c all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- Cream butter and sugar together in mixer.
- Add egg and blend well.
- Add extracts and blend.
- Mix flour and salt together. Gradually add to butter/sugar mixture.
- Chill dough for about two hours.
- Remove from fridge, roll out to about 1/3″ thickness and cut with cookie cutter.
- Bake cookies on baking tray until slightly brown on edges.
- Cool completely on wire rack.
- Make frosting.
This frosting is similar to royal icing, but the Crisco and flavorings make it taste delicious. It will dry hard enough to handle and pack when left overnight to dry, but not rock hard like traditional royal icing. To know if it is the correct consistency, take a spoonful and turn it over in the bowl. The frosting should cling to the spoon and slowly fall back into the bowl.
Prep Time: 10-12 minutes
Bake Time: 0 minutes
- 4 T meringue powder (available at many supermarkets and in most craft stores)
- 1/2 c water
- 6-7 c powdered sugar (may need more or less depending on humidity)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/4 c Crisco
- Place meringue powder and water into mixing bowl and whip on high speed until it’s fluffy and peaks form (may take as long as 10 minutes).
- Gradually add the rest of the ingredients to desired consistency.
- Tint the frosting, if desired.
- Decorate the cookies.
Remaining frosting can be stored at room temperature in a sealed container for up to one month.