Parental Perspectives

Weigh the value of things against your child and like mine, your children are going to win out.

By Jackie Saulmon Ramirez | May 6, 2015

Perspectives can change our emotional responses dramatically.

Human beings are emotional creatures and being a parent often magnifies those feelings. Watching a nameless child hit a home run is not nearly as exciting as watching your own child hit a run. A child failing miserably on a science test is no big deal either until it is your child.

Looking back at my own parenting fails, I cringe yet thinking about things I may have said as I discovered vegetables stashed between cushions or a video with its film pulled out into a pile. “Oh my God look what you did!”

I think of those wide-eyed faces of my little girls not knowing what might come next. I cannot bring myself to think how scared they must have been and how this moment was imprinted into their memories. I wonder, did I get to Parents Anonymous soon enough?

A friend’s child ruining their carpet may bring empathy but if it were your child and your home it could be very upsetting.

From attending the Parents Anonymous support meetings I learned there are ‘safety-net tricks’ a parent can put in place to prevent those ‘Oh my God’ moments. One trick I used was the image of Lady Justice with her scales of truth and fairness that would weigh the value of my child against any object or incident like my favorite yellow plate that was broken, the black paint that was spilled on the new mauve carpet or my daughter’s name scratched into the paint on my new car.

Without a doubt, folks, when I compare the value of my child with an object, accident, or mistake, believe me, my child is going to come out on top, hands down. Nothing will ever mean as much to me as my children.

Have you ever discovered a damaged item or mess caused by your child? Just how mad were you? Were you angry enough to need a safety-net trick? Do you have anger issues? You find yourself getting angry or upset at things of small importance. Your heart pounds, respiration increases and adrenaline floods your veins. Count to ten – to a hundred by twos. Got your safety net in place?

You can never be too prepared.


Put a grain of boldness into everything you do. ~Baltasar Gracián, translated from Spanish

Freedom lies in being bold. ~Robert Frost

He who finds Fortune on his side should go briskly ahead, for she is wont to favor the bold. ~Baltasar Gracián, translated from Spanish

Boldness is a mask for fear, however great. ~John Dryden

I speak truth, not so much as I would, but as much as I dare; and I dare a little the more, as I grow older. ~Michel de Montaigne, translated

If the light in your life has changed to yellow, I recommend you floor it. It’s safer than the alternative. ~Jeb Dickerson

He was a bold Man, that first eat an Oyster. ~Jonathan Swift

Few novels or plays could exist without at least one troublemaker in the group, and perhaps life couldn’t either. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966

There is no strong performance without a little fanaticism in the performer. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Moderation is a fatal thing; nothing succeeds like excess. ~Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance, 1894

The unforgivable crime is soft hitting. Do not hit at all if it can be avoided; but never hit softly. ~Theodore Roosevelt

But the fruit that can fall without shaking
Indeed is too mellow for me.
~Mary Wortley Montagu, The Answer

PHOTO: Courtesy of Jess Loughborough Under Flicker/CC License.
PHOTO: Courtesy of Michael Geminder Under Flicker/CC License.

Copyright © 2014 Jackie Saulmon Ramirez. All Rights Reserved.

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About Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

Jackie has volunteered for more than twenty years for children and family issues. Currently she writes for parents in the "Reminder" and "Parent Rap" Facebook page. If you are interested in receiving the "Reminder," send her a message.
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10 Responses to Parental Perspectives

  1. Such a great and much needed reminder. I remember when our son who was around 10 at the time did not get his way and he decided to scratch our new and expensive stainless steal refrigerator. I had my OMG moment and then I took a deep breath and used it to teach him a spiritual lesson on forgiveness. We reprimanded him and then told him I would never remind him of it again. It was a tough lesson for the both of us.


    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      Kids do the silliest things, and some of those things cost parents time, money and aggravation to repair or replace. (It helps to know this before having children.) Your taking a deep breath could be a lifesaver for someone with anger/rage issues like me. I’m glad you mentioned forgiveness… that was hard for me but I eventually able to do that by thinking about the scales and comparing my child to an object. I can imagine my kids thinking how mad I would be. When Katie broke the yellow plate, she was so relieved when I told her she meant more to me than the silly old plate. Can you imagine!

      Thank you for mentioning forgiveness… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      That was a great story! It touches my heart to see these super-tough SEALS be this great with children. It’s sad they lost funding and I hope money will appear somehow for them to continue. My brother is a retired Master Diver with SEALS.

      Thank you for showing me this. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Its hard to admit failing as a parent. But you seem to show us in your articles that it is ok. I think letting your children know were you went wrong with them or letting them know what mistakes you made when they were children, and you do not take it lightly, knowing they were affected by it somehow. I think doing this can bring the gap closer together, that is as adults now, both the adult children and adult parents, could make for a better relationship.


    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      I grew up being told that nobody is perfect; what I learned in my life was that some parents are more imperfect than others. But the good thing is that children are very resilient and love parents no matter what.

      In my life, I have made many mistakes but learned from those mistakes. I was extremely lucky to find my way to Parents Anonymous where I learned from other people’s mistakes as well as my own. We also taught each other what we knew so that parenting was truly five heads are better than one. Not only did we have group support, that support was 24/7; if I needed help at 10:00 p.m. then I had a list of other parents that I could call.

      I was also a Helpline volunteer for more than 10 years taking calls from parents, children, neighbors, police officers, schools – anyone that needed help. I was able to share what I knew and help folks or to give them a resource to get that help. Sometimes there was nothing you could do at all but listen. You would be surprised how many people are never listened to.

      I cannot say how others parent, but with Katie and Chelsey, I opened up everything to them and bared my soul. I learned from being in group that showing your fallibilities, your ability to be human at its deepest level, was empowering. I helped with trainings of new organizations in other states and workshops. I was often asked why I was so passionate about the Parents Anonymous groups. My answer was always the same; with my first two children I lost control and then later lost those children. Parents Anonymous gives parents skills so they learn to parent in a healthy manner. I could not have raised Chelsey and Katie without Parents Anonymous. If they have children, they are ready to be great mothers. But if they think they are going to lose it, they know that getting help from Parents Anonymous is easy and does not cost a dime. There is no shame in being imperfect, only being dishonest about it.

      If there are gaps between parents and children of any age, it is never too late to open up about weaknesses and imperfections. It does strengthen relationships and builds on what is there.

      PS: Randy, I have not been in WordPress much the last two plus weeks. My computer died unexpectedly and I am only partly working out of a borrowed laptop. The “new” laptop had issues so I am now waiting for a second replacement. *groan* The last three weeks have been like a very bad comedy but I will be back soon. I just wanted you to know. It has to get better; maybe there will be a post somewhere about it. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know you have personal health issues to deal with and I thought that was might be happening. But I am glad to hear it was something simple as a computer problem. But yes I know that can be a large problem, special if you are a blogger and others depend on your articles 👍🏼😃


      • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

        Here it has been like a comedy of errors; don’t ask what can go wrong because you will get an answer.

        I also bought three small gifts for Katie, her friend and Chelsey at an off-the-wall place that triggered my bank’s fraud alert. That meant other purchases on Amazon failed, including things for the new computer. That multiplied the e-mails to my inbox (insert frown here). The next thing was eating provolone cheese and overexerting myself with chores since I could not do my computer work. The cheese did a number on me and created pain in my chest to go with the nausea and dizziness from not eating soon enough and all that with the carpal tunnel pain that might mean a possible heart event. The trip to the ER was the next step; the doctors were great but the staff was positively incompetent. I ended up signing myself out “against medical advice” and going home. I learned to stand up for myself from those Parents Anonymous members and that was exactly what I did! Go me!

        I did not leave foolishly, the cardiologist said it was not a heart event. That left the cheese, as silly as it sounds. I went home where I could do what I knew would help. Parents Anonymous taught me to trust my instincts. If I waited for a doctor to sign me out I would have been there at least a day longer or more. I talked to the insurance company and explained what happened. My husband came home from work today and I told him this: I am proud that I had the cajones to stand up to authority. My Southern upbringing handicapped me in away and I overcame that.

        Today I’m doing great. I took care of the cheese issues and I’m as good as ever. I have deleted a zillion WordPress e-mails and I am sorry for that but this is not my computer and I do not want to populate it with cookies and such. It’s annoying not to be able to work, but it is what it is.

        Thanks, Randy, for stopping by. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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