8 Ways to Be a Better Parent

Lessons Learned

What I Learned from Mom and Dad

Present-day parents reflect on lessons they gleaned as kids.

The Silver Lining

"My mom used to drive me into New York City to see the eye doctor. She always paid for the George Washington Bridge with a $5 bill and got a silver dollar as change, which she let me keep. Afterward, we had hot dogs and a soda -- a special treat. These rituals made going to the doctor more palatable."

-- Bridget Pelosi, of Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, mom to Gavin, 2 1/2, and Peter, 7 months

Table for Two

"For my birthday, my dad would take me to a 'fancy' restaurant for dinner. It was a tradition he carried on with me (and my two sisters) for years. I remember feeling so special having him all to myself for the evening."

-- Erica LePore, Kingstown, Rhode Island, mom to Sadie, 6, Will, 3, and Luke, 1


"My dad emptied his change into a tin, and once it was full he'd tell my brother, sister, or me he had a 'job' for us: to help sort and roll the coins. Then we'd deposit the earnings in our savings account. It was a math lesson, small-motor exercise, and one-on-one time with Dad all 'rolled' into one."

-- Liz Hammel, Weybridge, Vermont, mom to Owen, 8, and Maeve, 5

Sundays with Dad

"My siblings and I spent most Sundays with our dad so our mom could study for graduate school. We'd go to breakfast and the car wash. He worked a lot, so we really cherished this time."

-- Kim Santosky, West Redding, Connecticut, mom to Jack, 1, and Grant, 2 months

Copyright © 2007. Used with permission from the December 2007 issue of American Baby magazine.

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