expecting
 
Kids of Today Can Give Hope For Tomorrow

I was just a child with a little girl's idea of what would be the most fun. "Oh, no," I cried, "It's a boy!" I was really upset after my brother-in-law walked out of the Yale New Haven Hospital's delivery room and announced the birth of my new nephew, his five pound son. "But," I whined, "I wanted it to be a girl, so I could have someone to play with."

Moments later, all of my childish disappointments disappeared. When I saw the miracle of my brand new nephew, I knew it didn't matter whether he was male or female. He was a precious new member of the family and I loved him immediately. Twenty years have passed and the family has grown with six more darling nephews and two sweet nieces. And guess who is the loving baby-sitter of them all?

The children of today are the country's future and the caretakers of tomorrow. They are tender, young creatures and need to be guided, nurtured and encouraged. Dr. Bernie Siegel of Woodbridge and father of five says, "I heard a quote recently that a genius is someone who had a good mother. Parents need to make their children feel loved."

Pay attention to your children. Spend time talking and listening to your child's needs. On a daily basis, parents should ask their child what they did that day and get to know their child's friends. "Many kids seem to have too much free or unconstructed time after school," says Laurie Talbot, Director of the Children and Adolescent Day Hospital at Saint Raphael's. "Let kids have other outlets," recommends Talbot, "fill their time with sports and hobbies that interest them." Keep your children busy. Having creative outlets can help children feel good about themselves and their accomplishments.

Don't be afraid to set limits for your children. They want you to validate that there are guidelines. Setting the limits to a child's emotions and activities can bring security, maturity and a well - balanced life.

Make your children feel special. Reinforce their worth with loving and caring words and actions. Read your children a bedtime story, create new family traditions, attend events that your children are a part of and plan special outings together.

The unconditional love of relatives and friends can give light and hope to teenagers and young adults as they begin to face this sometimes complicated world. Grandparents can enlighten the path of the little ones with stories of yesteryear. You are never too young or too old to encourage someone, to hand out a smile or speak a kind word. What we say to others can either shed light on their path or take it away. When it's a struggle to find the right words, a hug or touch of the hand can also express how deeply you care. Let the children of today know that they are worth a fortune and are wonderful, beautiful creations.

Catherine Galasso-Vigorito, mother of a baby girl, is a columnist for the Journal Register Co. Purchase her new book by sending $12.95 + $3 shipping to P.O. Box 2192, Branford, CT 06405.

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