I am sure that every parent questions how they have raised their children. I know I have.  I have not been strict enough in making them eat all of their vegetables and clean their rooms, (mainly because I don’t eat all of my vegetables and clean my room.) I know to some people  this is a major parenting faux pas.  However, I have raised my children right in the most important area…caring for others.

I volunteer with a recreational group of adults with and without disabilities.  We have a bowling league, then go out to dinner together, then have an activity at night, such as Bingo, Family Feud, or a visiting musician.  All of my children have come with me to this group,  starting with Francis when he was a baby and the group purchased a portable crib so I could bring him camping with us.  My children have been raised socializing with people with disabilities so that any disability is not knew to them.

Angel, my son with Dissociative Identity Disorder, has been my latest child to attend with me.  One of his “peeps” (as his calls his “parts’) I call the Game Show Host.  Angel is the one who calls the numbers for Bingo, or reads the questions for Family Feud.  He is hilariously similar to a game show host, right down to kissing the female “contestants” during a game of Family Feud. From the minute he starts an activity to the minute he finishes, we are all in stitches laughing.  Silly laughing.  Innocent laughing.  Heart beating fast with cheeks that hurt from laughing laughing. He is terrific, and I am so proud that he has learned to manage his disability in order to make others happy.

The happiest moment of all happened on Christmas Day.  All of our family festivities are on Christmas even, and Christmas Day is always a lazy one for us.  In fact, the children and I usually go to the movies.  Angel asked if it was okay if he invited a friend to the movies, and of course I said yes.  When we got there,  waiting for us expectantly, was Lisa, a 65 year old woman with a disability; the “friend” which he had invited.  She was dressed for Christmas…Christmas sweater, Santa Claus earrings, a Santa Hat and bright red lipstick. She was glowing as she hugged us all.  It seems that she has no family and had sat in her apartment alone for Christmas Eve.  Somehow Angel knew this, prompting his request that she come with us on Christmas Day.

We all laughed at the funny movie, and enjoyed a large popcorn, (mmmmmmm…movie theater fake butter popcorn!)  After the movie, we went out to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. (Duh!  Chinese restaurants are open…)  We had a lively conversation about anything and everything funny, and she beamed the whole time.  When we left her outside at her car to go home, she burst into tears.  She thanked us profusely. She said she was so lonely at Christmas, when everyone else had a family, that she had contemplated suicide because she had no one.  She said this was her best Christmas EVER!  Try as I might not to, tears slid down my cheek also.  Tears of sympathy for her and of pride for my son…a son who is seriously disabled himself, but who was still able to find the ability to care deeply for the feelings of this wonderful, lonely woman.

Yes, I have raised him right…


Comments on: "I Have Raised My Children Right in The Most Important Area" (117)

  1. This is what we need more of as humans – loving and caring for each other. The importance of the daily details pales in comparison to showing love and compassion to one another. Well done to both of you.

  2. yes, you certainly did. A lot of credit goes to you and what you have shown your children is really important in lift. God bless you all.

  3. Angel is truely an angel. You have done an amazing job raising your children. 🙂

  4. Yes, you have. Thank God you weren’t wasting your time on piddly stuff like eating vegetables and cleaning his room. 🙂

  5. Give yourself a great big pat on the back, you deserve it. Your inner beauty is certainly shining through you to the rest of the world. God bless!

  6. I love this inspiring story on this day. What a beautiful gift you bestow on your children when you teach them to care for others.

  7. So true! How many times parents focus entirely too much on teaching their kids to OBEY the rules…that it becomes more of a dictatorship. It really is much more important for the child to learn to not be selfish and care for others. If THIS can be accomplished, many other bad traits will be eliminated by themselves all in good time. Congrats! 😀

  8. Yes you have raised him right my friend, Angel is a very loving, caring individual and he has me in stiches every time we are together, and I’m so proud of you and so proud to call you my friend!!!

  9. You and your family are truly blessed. HUGS TO ALL

  10. You and your son are an inspiration to us all on how to give on Christmas and everyday.

  11. Such a beautiful story. Your son is an angel. So are you. God bless you for every challenge you have turned into a blessing for others.

  12. Reblogged this on Paradise.

  13. Oh my goodness, what a beautiful Christmas story! What joy you and your children brought to Jesus yesterday! I can just imagine Him smiling, and embracing all of you. Thanks so much for sharing what Christmas is truly about.

  14. refusingtopanic said:

    yes you have!

  15. There are so many like Angel’s friend. May your story inspire others to extend their hand in welcome to comfort the lonely. Thank you for continued inspiration.

  16. Beautiful story and the title rings true!

  17. I needed to read this today. I don’t even have anything else to say. Just… ::hug:: Angel and his Friend.

  18. This is a wonderful example of the good that can be done by a simple act. Congratulations for raising your children right and for the fact that you obviously lead by example. Merry Christmas.

  19. Thankyou for this warmness in your post.

  20. What a wonderful, heart warming story. I absolutely agree that you’ve raised them right in the way that matters most…much appreciation to you both for sharing your caring!

  21. Thank you so much for sharing Angel’s gift with us. He should be an inspiration to us all, to keep our hearts open to such a simple but enormously valuable gift, sharing our time with another. And thank goodness for Chinese restaurants (that was our Christmas dinner, too)!

  22. Beautiful!! What a great story.

  23. This is wonderful! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  24. You have, you certainly have .

  25. May your numbers multiply [the numbers of people who care: like you and your kids]. Hope keeps the world going, and Compassion keeps Hope going 🙂

  26. Beautiful :). My kids don’t eat their veggies or have clean rooms either. We are still working on the caring for others bit, however I have noticed they do care more than other kids I’ve seen. So that’s something. What a sweet family you have!

  27. Well done! 🙂

  28. What an example. I ought to be doing what your son is doing.

  29. This is a awesome example of amazing parenting and the wonderful people that do still exists in today’s society!!! Thank you for this wonderful post!

  30. Very true, you know you have done your job as a parent when your child shows compassion to someone less fortunate.

  31. Reblogged this on annkilter and commented:
    This is a wonderful story. We can all do something to help others. I like the new Mark Lowry song “Sow Mercy.” This is what her son, Angel, has done.

  32. What an encouraging story! A disregard for human life seems to be more prevalent in society, so it’s heartwarming and comforting to read about a family refusing to submit to the culture. Thank you for sharing & Happy New Year!

  33. What an encouraging story! A disregard for human life seems to be more prevalent in society, so it’s heartwarming and comforting to read about a family refusing to submit to the culture. Thank you for sharing & Happy New Year!

  34. Surely this is what Christmas is all about.

  35. This is beautiful! I love your amazing family! Thank you for sharing

  36. Reblogged this on Sow Mercy and commented:
    Sowing Mercy, an example. 🙂

  37. Very true. Caring for others will be the number one teaching for my 6 months old son.

  38. I cannot even find the words to express how absolutely wonderful reading this post made me feel. Yes, you have raised him so right. Righter than right! Thanks for the wonderful inspiration.

  39. […] Petersen @ Raising Five Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane Blog with her post I Have Raised My Children Right in the Most Important Area: “I am sure that every parent questions how they have raised their children. I know I have. […]

  40. aw that is such a sweet story. good on Angel.

    blessings to you both.

    Maria Chapman bubbygirl1972@gmail.com

    “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi

  41. Definately – kids have a lifetime to learn how to organize their stuff, but a child who has learned compassion changes the world their entire lives.


  42. I’m fairly new to your blog. This was a lovely post!

  43. You are an inspiration!

  44. Reblogged this on Oddbits and commented:
    These people are truly inspirational.

  45. Thank you for sharing. That is a wonderful story. We sorely need to see/ hear this.

  46. simplyscrambled said:

    Wonderful. I work in the field and can definitely see the difference between those parents who truly love their children and are blind to their difficulties and those who define their child by what they have.
    Happy vs. hurting.

  47. Reblogged this on Indulge me and I You. and commented:
    This is very touching. Keep up the good job

  48. Reblogged this on Sand in Clam and commented:
    This blog post is simply admirable and miraculous in all it’s beauty. I have fallen in love with this mother, whom I believe must share a soul for people, as I do. Cheers to you, sister. You are indeed doing it right.

  49. This is so lovely. I have just started blogging and it’s my first comment. What a beautiful story. I have only read this post and can’t wait to read more. This is how we should all live our lives, without judgement and with only good intentions.
    Jacky Swift x

  50. Wow! That was a beautiful story! I have a daughter with a disability. One day she told me that she was thankful for it and wouldn’t trade her disability for health because she saw that she could help more people with the disability.

  51. That is a fantastic story. When you do the right things, great things happen that you will never forget!

  52. What a beautiful, inspiring story! Yes, you have majored on the major thing – caring. Great job.

  53. I’ve enjoyed reading and I will be following you:) God Bless

  54. God purposly made these children for you. He chose YOU to be their mother. What a touching and heart warming story you have to share and what a special young man you have raised. What a blessing all around. Keep up the good work, I know you have to go through triple what other moms do. As I speak of this from experience. What a wonderful blessing that God knew you could handle it with his help. I hope if it gets to be to much remember these times. Take care mlm

  55. Angie K Walker said:

    I enjoyed reading about your Christmas without a sprout or piece of (dreaded word) turkey in sight. I’m not a traditionalist & used to do chicken chow mien on Christmas day when the kids were younger. I feel that the way you do it embodies the true meaning of Christmas.

  56. What a caring, sensitive soul you have nutured. Bravo to you, momma!

  57. […] of childhood memories almost drown the old guy.  (Note: This is a response to a wonderful blog post I […]

  58. pdxwiltedflowers said:

    This post brought back so many memories of my own childhood. You inspired my post tonight (http://flowerthrower.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/you-are-not-dumb-you-just-dont-know-anything/). Thanks so much for sharing this.

  59. Well Done you, your son and the rest of your family xx
    All we ask is that our children turn out to be the best that they can be, and your children are all definatly on the right track. I think when you do something kind for someone else , the feeling you get , is part of the reward, it makes it all seem worthwhile . Lovely Blog too xx Victoria

  60. You have a wonderful site! Very inspirational.

  61. I really like this post. I am in the middle of writing a children’s book based on being loving and caring to all things – it was in reaction to my observation that a lot of children are not terribly caring! And my daughter is so naturally empathic and caring – I started to wonder about the relation between nature/nurture. Your story about your son’s caring is a wonderful one. We often forget how absolutely powerful acts of caring can be in a person’s life.

  62. This is what life is all about! Thank you for sharing and for keeping your focus:) Sounds like you’re a great Mom with an awesome family! I’m looking forward to reading more…

  63. One of the most shaping experiences of my youth was volunteering to help coach a cheerleading squad at a school for kids with disabilities. I was 16, and that season I learned not to be afraid of those who look different (they are the same on the inside), not to feel sorry for them (they were the happiest people I knew), and I also had some real fun times. So glad your son is learning this lesson too – it’s one you can’t teach with words, rather one you learn by experience.

  64. Reblogged this on kycotchristiangifts and commented:
    As a parent blessed with a child struggling with disabilities I understand and share in this extraordinary deep caring and overflowing love. I thank God for this chapter in my life.

  65. As the father of a mentally disabled 22-year old who knows nothing but love and laughter, I really appreciate this post. Also,, you made me realize that my other two children, who have no disabilities would do what your son. We forget sometimes how special (and challenging) it can be for for the siblings of a special needs child. The experience makes them special, too.

  66. Way to make me cry at work! What a beautiful thing your son did, thank you for sharing.

  67. Truly inspirational! Thank you.

  68. What a great kid and a wonderful Christmas gift!

  69. Beautiful…I teared up just reading about your family’s kindness.

  70. What a beautiful message contained in this blog. Words we can all try to live by in this coming year. Love one another!

  71. What a beautiful story. That is what Christmas is all about, spreading love. What an amazing little boy and, yes, clearly raised to love. 🙂

  72. A wonderful and meaningful story.

    May your day be filled with joy and peace.


  73. I have only read two stories and they are standouts of inspiration. I looked for a way to repost to FB, but don’t see it. In the end, nothing matters but kindness and you are passing this on. All the best, Hattie

  74. What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing it 🙂

  75. epicusmontaigne said:

    I’m just finding this post now, and it’s truly one of the most beautiful and inspiring things I’ve read in such a long time. I’m sure your very proud of Angel, and you have every right to be.

  76. Thank you for sharing your thoughts

  77. Well done you! So many folks these days are too busy obsessing about what preschool their toddler will get into or whether they are having the right play dates to lead them into a successful future that they forget the most important challenge: that they are nurturing human beings that will be growing into a wide world surrounded by other human beings! The best part of all being that none of us are perfect and that different as we each may be we are all connected by the beauteous state of being human!!! Your children must be very proud of you, as proud as you are of them.

  78. Thank you for reminding me that the most important thing we give our children is ourselves and our example in how we live life. You are lovely!

  79. I am completely in awe of what you are doing, of the fact that you find time to blog about it, much kudos to you!

  80. What a beautiful story and reminder of the importance of kindness and caring for others!

  81. I’m just a little puddle of tears after reading this! Wonderful! You are the living example to your children and in turn, they to the world. Keep shining!

  82. What a lovely story about your wonderful family – they are so lucky to have you and your values as a truly caring person. You are an inspiration.

  83. What a touching christmas tale, be proud!

  84. A wonderful story no doubt that you raised your children right.

  85. I echo others’ comments that you definitely have raised your children so well to respect everyone, and count everyone in.
    Thank you so much for following my blog. I’m not sure I can live up to yours, but I’ll try. Please keep in touch. (Christine(at)CaptionsCommunications(dot)ca

    • You have a great blog. Because I we rely on captioning for television (and now movies,) it is of great interest to me!
      My blog is a modest accounting of my observations in life, much like everyone else’s blogs. For some reason, though, quite a few (wonderful) people read it!

  86. You have raised your children amazing! Loved reading and thanks for reminding about the most important things in life! God Bless!

  87. Compassion is the heart of Jesus.

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