Saturday, May 18, 2013

Parenting Tips: Fostering a Family Identity

By Deborah Pace Rowley

Last night, my oldest (20) and youngest (10) daughters put on a restaurant for our family. One of my favorite activities as a Mom is watching my children create memorable events for each other. My baby's nickname is "Kitty." My oldest daughter's nickname is Melon. They combined their names to create "Kitty Melon's Restaurant." You can see the theme of cats and watermelons in their menus and even in the face paint that adorned the waiters and waitresses of this fine establishment.

They even served this amazing Watermelon cake. It was the core of the watermelon covered in whipping cream and topped with kiwis and mandarin oranges. Delicious and healthy too!

It is easy as Moms we feel like we are totally responsible for creating memorable family events that forge a family identity. But I think it is even more fun as our kids get older to surrender some of that responsibility to them.

For example: Last August my 17-year-old daughter and my 15-year-old son created a "House of Anubis" treasure hunt for their big sister Melissa when she left for college. They had enjoyed watching this internet series together over the summer and wanted to send her off in style. Melissa returned the favor by creating a "Once Upon a Time" treasure hunt for Natalie a week ago. The treasure hunt had everything from coded clues to secret messages and ended up being so much fun... to watch! I really think it is okay to step to the sidelines sometimes and let our family identity evolve without Mom doing all the work.

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