A to Z Challenge: S is for Sand in My Toes


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Sometimes you read a blog that you wish you’d written. Or that your kids would write.

CD az challengeToday on the A to Z Challenge, S is for Sand In My Toes. As in, the blog, by Tarana Khan Siddiqi. Ever read it? She first appeared on the Coach Daddy scene in a comment on Michelle Nahom’s brilliant guest post about sports parents.

Today, Tarana is here to share five parenting lessons she learned from her dad.

She shares with me a background in journalism and content writing, as well as copy editing. She’s an incredible and expressive parent who has written so many poignant posts, especially on toddlers. You’ll love her style as I do.

It’s an honor to have her here today on the CD. Please give her a warm welcome.

Five parenting lessons I learned from Dad

tarana graphicI’ve always looked up to my Dad, because to me, he’s the best human being I’ve known. As I grew up, I was happy to know that many people looked up to him as well, and still do. I spent a lot of time with him during childhood, mostly because he had his own small business and not a nine-to-five job.

Now that I’m a parent myself, I’m surprised at how much I’m influenced by Dad in how I approach my three-year old son. I never really expected my childhood memories to have an impact on my parenting style, but inspiration can come from anywhere. And this just goes on to show how our childhood experiences have a major role to play in the kind of person we grow up to be.

These are the five parenting lessons I learned from my Dad

1. Answer every question.

photo credit: maze via photopin (license)
photo credit: maze via photopin (license)

I had a lot of questions as a little girl. A lot! I was as curious as any 5Β year old, I guess. I wanted to know how planes flew and why something was one way and not the other. Well, my Dad always answered my questions. Every single one of them. He never said. ‘I’m busy’ or ‘I don’t know’. He did his best to factually provide the best information he could. I think I learned a lot about how things work just from him. Back to the present, and my toddler is pretty curious too. When I’m about to throw my hands up with his barrage of questions, I try to think of my Dad, and reply to every one to the best of my knowledge.

2. Be patient. Very patient.

It’s not that my Dad never lost his temper. But when he helped me learn new things, like riding a bike, he was extremely patient. From this, I learned to keep trying when doing something new and not give up easily. As a parent, if there’s one virtue you really need, it’s patience. Like any other first-time parent, I’ve been through some challenging times, and they keep coming. But I just try to keep moving ahead, and keep my cool. Because, there’s really no other way of doing it without losing your mind!

3. Reward honesty.

photo credit: Keegan meets Kitty via photopin (license)
photo credit: Keegan meets Kitty via photopin (license)

Even when I did something wrong, I found it hard to lie to my Dad. Somehow, he made it look like there was no other option except to tell the truth, and he didn’t make it hard. Of course, there were consequences, but they were preceded by a pat on the back for coming clean about my actions. Over time, I’ve realized how important it is to allow our children to be honest with us. Open communication without fear is what builds a great relationship between parents and their kids. My son is a little young to understand this, but I just let him know that he can tell me anything and everything, and I hope it remains this way.

4. Set a good example.

Being a good parent is also about being a good human being. Because, our kids mirror our behaviour. Growing up, I saw my Dad as a hard-working and modest person who always took care not to hurt another’s feelings. I wish I could say that I picked up on all those qualities, but I am less than perfect. But since becoming a parent, I have made an extra effort to do the right things and be the kind of person I want my son to become.

5. Make your kids laugh.

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MP

He didn’t have the easiest life, but my Dad did remember to laugh. I’m glad he did, because he made us laugh with him. To make some great memories for your kids, just make them laugh often. It’s as simple as that. Kids don’t always remember the expensive gifts you got them, but they will definitely recall the good times you spent together laughing and being silly. That’s the one thing I try to do every day.

About me:

tarana mugTarana Khan is mom to a toddler, living an expat life. She loves writing and has done her stints as a copywriter, reporter and content editor, before embracing parenthood full time. She blogs at Sand In My Toes, where you can drop by to read more of her parenting and other adventures! You can also catch up with her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Google+.

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51 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge: S is for Sand in My Toes

    1. Fully deserved, Tarana. It’s every dad’s hope that he lived in a way that left this sort of impression on his kids. Thank you for writing this, and thanks to your dad for setting the high bar for the rest of us.

  1. A lovely tribute to your Dad, Tarana. With such an example, I’m sure, you’ll be a great mother and inspire your children to great things πŸ™‚

  2. Some really great lessons. It was a tough post for me to read, because I miss my dad every day, but it also reminded me about the wonderful things he taught me and how very lucky I am πŸ™‚ I’m a lot like him, so I’m sure everything he taught me has been passed to my own children, which is a pretty great legacy.

      1. Only my oldest daughter met my dad, and she admits to remembering little. The stories are big, aren’t they? They all know him because of the stories.

      2. Yes, I mention him quite a bit, mainly because of my writing and the fact he always feels close. He was so proud of me and would have enjoyed my creations! Last year, because it was the tenth anniversary since we lost him, we all did something in his memory. I created a character after him and published the novel close to his birthday. I’m sure he would have liked that πŸ™‚

  3. Those are great lessons!
    I think being patient is the hardest for me – and certainly was for my Dad, too πŸ˜‰

    This morning, while eating breakfast, my son (6.5 years old) asked “Mommy? What exactly is an ORGY?” So much for answering questions, hahahaha! (Where did he hear this? In a Asterix book!! Bloody Romans!)

      1. “Ask your Dad!”

        Hahaha, kidding.

        I said it’s a special party that Romans liked to have – with lots of food, wine and girlfriends. And they didn’t even sit down to eat, they were lying.

        He seemed happy with this answer. Are you?

  4. Oh, man. I need to beef up my Google-fu to keep up with the questions my 4 year old asks. Of course, at this rate he’s going to be “that kid…” You know. The one who ends up teaching all of the neighborhood kids the proper names for anatomical parts or random, awesome holidays (speak like a pirate, pi day, mole day, etc).

    1. Stay limber, Kimber. “Those kids” sometimes become the teachers of tomorrow – or guests of the state, either or. I feel confident yours will use the powers for good and not (much) evil.

      I always miss Speak Like a Pirate Day, so maybe I’ll just do it tomorrow.

  5. Today at Friendly’s, Scarlet loudly asked me how two men have babies. She knows how two women have babies. (half of her kindergarten class has two moms or two days)
    I just patiently answered. It’s Northampton, after all
    I like your dad’s style about that one!
    I’m not very patient but I do make them laugh. A lot!!

  6. Hey Eli and Tarana!!!

    LOVED this Tarana… oh what an amazing dad you have! I love these parenting lessons you were taught through him. I hope I can be that kind of parent to my own kids…

    Thanks for the inspiration!!

    1. I’m finding that being a good parent has more to do with who you are than what you think you should do – that’s tough, because I think so many of us fall short.

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