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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Valentine

Building Starts with a Foundation

The Hebrew word for parents is horim, and it comes from the same root as moreh, teacher. The parent is, and remains, the first and most important teacher that the child will have. -- Rabbi Kassel Abelson

Whether you're building a skycraper, house of cards or an adult, it all starts with a firm foundation. Their base for what is normal, logical and right comes from their experiences and your guidance. With that in mind, you need to exhibit the behavior you want your child(ren) to display. This includes your conversation, the way you resolve conflict and the way you interact with authority.

That being said we should examine how we were raised. What lessons (good or bad) did we learn? I had two loving parents, but my mom was a masterful parent. This is not to say she was a model parent, but I have learned and continue to learn so much from her even though she is no longer with us.

My mom was the oldest daughter of two children born to a southern father and Jamaican mother. She and her sister were born and raised in Harlem in the early 1930s. Her mother contracted tubercolosis and passed away when my mother was just a young girl. Suffering such an important loss at such a young age made her very aware of the importance of living in the moment. Education was stressed in our family and each generation is responsible for lifting the family. My mother grew up and became an educator and my aunt became a nurse. Formal and informal education was stressed and reinforced in my home and surroundings.

What lessons are your children learning from you and your village? Are they learning the lessons that will make them productive adults? Share your thoughts.

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