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By Chandrama Anderson

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About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and have lived in and around Palo Alto since 1969. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in Silicon Valley for 15 years before becoming a therapist. My background i...  (More)

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My Son Turned 20

Uploaded: Jun 24, 2016
I'm so proud of him. He's thoughtful and kind, and has a great group of longtime friends that he listens to and supports. He treats his girlfriend and her family well. He's in college and going to culinary school.

As a parent, these are all reasons to be proud. Mostly I just love him and I'm just happy he's here on this earth, adding positive energy to our world – which is tremendously needed.

I remember when he was a little boy; he wanted to pick out his own clothes (which didn't go together – but who cares?); him being filthy from a good day playing. I remember some of the exhausting days that seemed like they would never end, and of course they did.

Everyone says it goes fast, and that's true.

I had a new job when he was born. I worked at IDG books, the For Dummies series company, as their online manager. I went to see my OB/GYN after work one night and he said I still had at least a couple of weeks to go. What did he know? Nature works in its own time. My water broke at 1 AM, and 40 hours later my beautiful son was born.

Cherish your child(ren). Love them well. Teach them to treat others well, and be communicative. There's nothing more important. Let them have and learn to name their feelings. Help them understand what to do with feelings (e.g., anger lets them know a boundary has been crossed, or they're hurt or sad). Instead of acting out, teach them to talk out what happened: "When this happened, I felt _____. I wish you would _____.

These are invaluable teachings for all of us, and most people don't get taught growing up.
It's not too late to learn. Print out a list of feeling words, and start to notice yours. Start today. A great book to help with discussions is called Difficult Conversations. It’s written by the Harvard Negotiation Team.

Think about what you can do, and what your kids can do (if you have them), to make this a better world. Are you waiting for someone else to do it? Maybe they're waiting for you . . .

A good starting place: Be kind. Say thank you. Let a driver in. Spend couple time with your partner. Spend individual time with your child(ren).

I know my son is worried about this world. There is something you each can do, based on who you are: your strengths and passions. Consider adopting a child.

While I was at Camp Kesem, I saw so many Stanford students with a passion to make this a better world. We need young people's energy and vision. So do anything you can to support them.

Comments

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Stephanie, a resident of another community,
on Jun 25, 2016 at 7:36 pm

Thank you for the inspiring post!


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by William, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jun 27, 2016 at 3:27 am

Yeah, time flies. At some point in life you just can't believe that everything happened so fast! I know I can't.
I agree that we should cherish our children and teach them to be good, it is the most important thing to do when you are a parent.
Really nice post, thank you, William


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Dad with #2 @ 20, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Jun 29, 2016 at 9:49 am

I found that I also liked when #1 became capable of flying from the the nest on his own after college. But #2, his adulthood seemed to come this 20th year - when he stepped up to kindly support his grandparents - as they must grapple with some of the old age toils that previously they had escaped.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Moldaw Residences resident, a resident of South of Midtown,
on Jun 30, 2016 at 7:59 pm

Thanks for your moving, and encouraging blog. In the third-to-last paragraph, I don't understand what "Let a driver in" means.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jul 1, 2016 at 8:59 am

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

"Let a driver in" means when you're driving and someone wants to change lanes, make space for them vs. making it harder for that driver to change lanes. Thanks for writing in.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by flamingo123, a resident of St. Francis Acres,
on Aug 10, 2016 at 10:35 pm

Joy for the massive work you do here. I really truly welcome you. Your posts are magnificent continually.



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