I have never had children myself however I can only liken it to the raising of the hundred plus fruit trees and ornamentals I have nurtured in the almost fifteen years since I landed in this jungle forest. You parents might joke raised without the "backtalk". But when you hear my story you will see that that is not necessarily so.
My first orchard attempt was a disaster. I planted oranges and limes that two years later were shorter than when I brought them home from the nursery. And the plants that did survive, never fruited or flowered. Except the indigenous ones, the ones that are native to the area, thrived with little care.
From the blessings of a strong year financially, being a farmer at heart and knowing the payoff of planting for the future, I gave it another shot. To find better results.
The most blatant mistake I made can be so applied to a parents biggest faux pas(sic). I planted the plants where I wanted them to go. Where I thought they would look best. Never once considering what they would need. Which their performance soon to inform me.
I planted a star fruit tree which needs full sun in a spot that only got sun three months of the year. Lucky for me, that sun graced it during the first flower and fruiting season. However because of the choice of spot I only get one good harvest where most star fruit offer two.
This starfruit is only about 12 feet high where a starfruit of over ten years in the place of highest and best opportunity for it could after that period of time be 20-25 feet and fuller and wider spreading in its branch reach.
You see I was unprepared. I had not done my homework. Living in a forested area in a gulch to boot, daylight varies dramatically from season to season. I planted that tree in spring summer when there was plenty of daylight. However had I planted it in the winter II would have seen that darkness clearly and realized it was not a good place to put a tree that thrived in full sun.
That lesson taught me much. So when I did my most recent orchard planting I did it differently. I watched the changes in the sun patterns for a full year, then I studied carefully the sun needs and even more specific the fruiting and flowering habits of the plants. And then matched up each individual plant with each seasonal variation, in the end giving each plant the best opportunity possible for a full healthy and productive life.
For the health of its own life as well as mine. For when my fruit trees are healthy and productive, that enhances my life with an overflow of its bounty. As such as a parent reaps the benefits of a healthy well adjusted productive and happy child.
Just as I can easily educate myself in gardening, I encourage all parents to take classes in parenting. Seek out the advise of experts. In the old days historically parents learned child rearing from their parents. Elders lived with the younger generations for reinforcement.
However in these times, families are nuclear, and our lives and the world is so much more complex and what was true just a mere generation ago is not applicable today
Something to think about for the health and well being of all the children in the generations to come who's lives for their formative years are dependent by their caretakers.. My Star Fruit tree told me to make sure to emphasize this last line.
To learn more about starfruit go to; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carambola