I once heard a mom describe parenting as having her heart walk around outside her body. The bond of love between parents and their children is a mystery. For many people, it is the truest form of love they will ever know. If the bond is damaged, it often can leave a scar carried for the rest of a person’s life. That’s why, when parents step up to the plate and not only love their children, but love them unselfishly with their time and effort, children have a much better chance of thriving and growing into the best people they can be. Becoming a parent is easy. Good parenting takes everything you’ve got.
Acknowledging the Challenges of Single Parents
About 5 years ago, Midvale Principal Valerie Enriquez, realized she was seeing a lot of good parenting happening in the families of her students. She noted how active many of the parents were in their child’s education at TIA. The extra time spent in the classroom, attending school events, and chaperoning field trips was extraordinary. It then occurred to Ms Enriquez how often it was single parents, sometimes juggling two jobs along with all the duties at home, that were volunteering at school. It dawned on her how great it would be to give special accolades to these single parents for doing all of this by themselves. So Mrs. Enriquez invited these parents to the first Muffins for Mom/ Doughnuts for Dad program as a way to acknowledge, applaud and give support to all the single parents of her students.
An Emotional Event
Besides serving tasty pastries to these parents, the students prepared poems or something affirming to say to their parents. Then each parent is presented a flower. The TIA staff were somewhat skeptical how many parents would actually attend the short morning program, but were amazed when they had a huge turnout of 70-75 parents! It ended up being a very emotional affair. Many happy tears were shed by parents listening to their children affirm them publically. Even teenagers, who maybe had argued with their folks the night before, stood up and expressed their love and appreciation for their parents.
Successful Program Spreads
The event was so successful, it now is an annual celebration of good parenting on all four TIA campuses and has extended to include all TIA parents. It is scheduled for May each year to coordinate with Mother’s and Father’s Day and to send parents and students into their summer with reaffirmed love and support.
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