Tahlequah Daily Press

Features

July 26, 2010

Celebrating the art of parenting

Today is Parents’ Day, and locals weigh in on the joys and sacrifices of the job.

TAHLEQUAH — Every May brings the celebration of mothers. In June, tribute is paid to fathers around the country.

The month of July gives both parents a little recognition bonus with their own a special day.

Today, the fourth Sunday in July, is nationally known as Parents’ Day.

In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed a law establishing Parents’ Day to promote responsible parenting in society.

According to the congressional resolution, the day has been set aside for “recognizing, uplifting, and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children.”

Most would agree parenting is hard work, and to be a great parent requires even more.

“It takes sacrifice, to change everything in your life to be around your children and not yourself,” said Anthony Roark, father of 2-year-old Tony.

Roark said since the birth of his son, he has sacrificed a lot of things he used to enjoy.

“I’ve given up some of my hobbies, like night life, spending time with friends, and personal toys like boats, bikes, etc. Most of all, [I’ve given up free] time,” said Roark.

Allison Hieronymus is just nine weeks away from becoming a mother for the first time. As the final weeks of her pregnancy dwindle down, she has thought about what it will take for her and her husband, Ryan, to be great parents for their baby girl.

“She’s not here yet, but I think [good parenting] starts with love from the mother and father. Also, to be a great parent, you must always be there for them. You have to understand your child,” said Hieronymus.

The parent-child relationship is the most powerful of human bonds.

Understanding and supporting a child could be the key to a great relationship between any child and parent.

“A great parent is someone who makes sure his kid knows they are loved, without regard to their child’s shortcomings. A parent is someone who stands behind his child every day without fail,” said Amanda Huffman.

Huffman speaks fondly about her mother, Terri Sneed, and the relationship they have.

“My mom is someone I can count on. I know if I were to call her and really need her for something, she would come. I think she knows the same thing about me – if she needs me, I’m there,” said Huffman.

Many people learn parenting skills from their own caregivers. The ideals, morals, and characteristics children grow up seeing are often replicated in their own homes when they become parents.

“I want my kids to treat people they care about the same way. Be there for them, through the good, bad and really bad,” said Huffman.

Huffman said her mother’s greatest quality is her ability to overcome obstacles.

“My mom is a rock,” she said.

“She’s dealt with some things that most people couldn’t crawl through, and she somehow found a way to walk through the bad until she found the good.”

Whether you’re a parent, child, or both, take this day to celebrate the connection that is shared.

“Enjoy the small things with your child, because it makes the big things that much better,” said Roark.

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