A Thought On Parenting

Today I went through my dusty old bookshelf in search of old treasures.  To me there is no better feeling than trifling through my old books like the Goosebumps series, books by Judy Blume, and, of course, the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary.  Today’s search was mainly inspired by the new movie “Ramona & Beezus.”  Part two of this journey is going back and re-reading some of my old favorites.  So far my reading list includes Ramona And Her Father, Ramona Quimby Age 8, Ramona Forever, and Fudge A Mania.  Logically the first book I chose to read was the first book I have in the Ramona series, Ramona And Her Father.  On page 85 I suddenly stopped after reading the last two sentences.  Ramona’s father has just lost his job and his family is buried in financial burdens because of it.  One night when Ramona is tucked into bed she thinks to herself, “Didn’t grown-ups think children worried about anything but jack-o’-lanterns?  Didn’t they know children worried about grown-ups?”  The idea that a seven year- old child is worrying about her family’s financial troubles is disheartening.  All children constantly ask their parents for new toys, to go to amusement parks, and complain about having to wear hand-me-down clothes because they don’t fully understand the value of these items and how finances work.  When a child hears so often about their parents’ stress over money, they eventually start to understand and begin to worry too.  There are just some things that a seven year-old shouldn’t understand and shouldn’t be worrying about; it takes away from the innocence of childhood.  Of course, most parents don’t intend to burden their children this way; generally they are just being honest about why they can’t have new toys or clothes or go to amusement parks.  However, maybe honesty in certain situations isn’t the best policy.  I don’t think any child will grow up to resent their parents for sparing them the burden of the truth.  As a mother- to- be, I have learned a very valuable parenting lesson from a fictional seven year- old girl named Ramona Quimby.

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