2012 07 07 17.04.36 300x225 POSITIVE PARENTING   TRUSTI had a great childhood growing up in New York City. One thing about this city is that there are a variety of things to do. My mom and dad made sure that the three of us were exposed to as many things that this city could offer. Since she is an artist, visiting the various art galleries and art shows was top on her priority list.

During all this time the thought never entered my mind that she or my dad were not giving me the best they had.  I was always confident with the trust I had in them.

I felt that way because the two of them were always consistent in their approach to raising the three of us. We could never pit one of them against the other. When one of them said something it was as is you could hear both voices.

The bottom line is that I feel very fortunate that my parents were the type of people that promoted trust. It goes a lot deeper that just giving instructions about the dangers of life. They were the type of people that were always there when one of us needed them.

I grew up in the Albany Houses in Brooklyn. We lived in apartment 8C in the building that was located at 1414 Bergen Street. The living room windows there were shaped so that anyone could get a good view of the street below. We could see the building next to us (1430 Bergen Street), there was a playground (we called it the little park) and half of Bergen street all the way to the corner at Troy Avenue.  It was not uncommon for me to look up and see her standing in the window.

When we went outside to play we had to remain within this area so that she or my dad could see us. There were many times she would yell from the window. Sometimes she was calling to let us know that it was time to come upstairs. There were other times she was calling down to give us instructions on something that we should not have been doing.

My parents didn’t give us a lot of wiggle room when we were young. At the time I felt that they stayed in that window so they could spy on us. Looking back on those days, it was a great comfort to know that both my parents cared about their kids. I trusted the fact that they were always present and I’m not sure what would have become of me or my siblings if those eyes were not there.

While I lived in Cleveland, Ohio I spent many hours talking to them on the phone. Our conversations would go on for what seemed like hours. They just listened as I sometimes rambled on.  I felt assured that when I called they would always picked up the phone. They have since moved to Queens and would you know they have had the same phone number for over 40 years.

All kids watch their parents more intently than they listen to them. While growing up in the Albany Houses I had no idea that some of those things I watched my parents do I would be doing with my kids.

We didn’t have cell phones in those days and I’m sure my parents would have been using a lot of minutes to find out where were. That is what I do now. It is not uncommon for me to send a group text to Wendell Jr. and Deshawn to find out where they are and what they are doing. I used to track Deshawn through an application that uses the phone’s GPS. I could turn on this app and I could see where he was on a map. It worked both ways in that he could also see where I was. The only problem was that he kept turning his GPS feature off. He said it was draining his battery. That might be true and maybe I was going “a little too far”. At 19 he needs to have his privacy but I don’t hesitate to text and I continue to send the same message until they answer. I guess I became my mom yelling out the window until one of us came in sight.

As positive parents we all have to strive to be trustworthy.  Our kids need to depend on us and they need to know that we care. I always look for ways to reach out. Since Jonathan is 9, still at home and too young for a cell phone. But don’t worry, as soon as he becomes electonicized (how about that for a made up word), he will also receive the group text.

There are times when I’m caught up in whatever I’m doing and I forget to send the group text. That’s when I will get a text from them asking me where I am and what am I doing. That makes me feel good. I’m glad they realize that this and most relationships go both ways.

Trustworthiness should not be mistaken for perfection. Since there are no instruction manuals for child rearing, it is important to understand that it is the effort that is most important. The outcome also plays an important role but if we have given our best our kids will grow up to be good, trustworthy adults.

At the end of the day our kids need to be confident that we will always be there and that we care about them deeply.

I am the guy whose glass is ½ full.



  • I love how you said if parents give their best, then kids will be good trustworthy adults. Sometimes trying our hardest may not give us the perfect child, but we can know that we put in all that we could to make sure from our end the child would be a respectful and productive adult in life. Great points!

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