Your parenting is praiseworthy; you praise your children

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A reader offers this paragraph for free proofreading:

The reasons that I am a good mother are I put my needs second when my children are concerned. Being a mother has its challenges at times, especially when there is a teenager involved. I have learned to handle life’s challenges and do it with a smile. In my experience, I have learned to be patient and keep my cool.¬† I try this approach with every situation that comes my way. I explain the practical reasoning not to do something, and then why I do not want them to do it. I am a parent not a friend or a buddy. Of course I am their friend, but ultimately I am the parent. Children need praiseworthy and honest guidance and instruction. They do not need to figure things out alone. That would result in catastrophe. I encourage my children when they are doing well. Often, as parents we see the negative; therefore, we must also make sure to praise them when they are doing well. I take an interest in their interests. For example, with my son he loves music so I bought him a guitar, and I watch him play. I even ask questions like what is your favorite type of music. Another, is I am able to admit when I have done something wrong, and I apologize for it. This helps them to learn that we all make mistakes and we all can learn from them. Being a good mother is about being there for them and listening.

The response:

Being a parent is harder than writing (I have 4 children and one grandchild), and you do that well. I did suggest a few changes. I changed praiseworthy to praise, because the sentence begins is talking about what the children need: they need praise, not “praiseworthy”. If we left it as praiseworthy, then you’d be writing that your guidance is praiseworthy, which I’m sure it is, but I think you are not saying that you deserve praise for your great guidance. Later I made two changes because of faulty references. When we see the negative, we praise them…I had to ask “who?” The sentence doesn’t tell us, although our logic tells us that it’s our children who we praise. In the next sentence, if we left the pronoun them in there, it would refer to “our children” because that ‘s what was in the preceding sentence. But the subject here is “I”, so I changed “them” to “our children.”

One reason that I am a good mother is I put my needs second when my children are concerned. Being a mother has its challenges at times, especially when there is a teenager involved. I have learned to handle life’s challenges and do it with a smile. In my experience, I have learned to be patient and keep my cool. I try this approach with every situation that comes my way. I explain the practical reasoning not to do something, and then why I do not want them to do it. I am a parent, not a friend or a buddy. Of course I am their friend, but ultimately I am the parent. Children need praise and honest guidance and instruction. They do not need to figure things out alone. That would result in catastrophe. I encourage my children when they are doing well. Often, as parents we see the negative; therefore, we must also make sure to praise our children when they are doing well. I take an interest in my children’s interests. For example, my son loves music so I bought him a guitar, and I watch him play. I even ask questions like what is your favorite type of music?” Another reason I am good mother, is I am able to admit when I have done something wrong, and I apologize for it. This helps them to learn that we all make mistakes and we all can learn from them. Being a good mother is about being there for them and listening to them.

About Peter J. Francis

Peter J. Francis is owner and operator of HyperGraphix Publishing Services (HGPublishing.com). He has over 30 years of professional writing and editing experience. He holds a BA (Honors) degree in English (1987), a B. Ed. degree from SFU (2005) and a certificate in Special Education from SFU (2011). He teaches high school and offers editing services as time is available.