I Am Assignment

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I Am Assignment

In my family, we talk about the importance of honesty, integrity, forgiveness, generosity, caring, conserva¬tion, respect for the earth and other forms of life. One of the ways we encourage expression of these values is through our family mission statement which is treat people the way you want to be treated .Although such values are expressions of a mature adult who has realized my responsibility to life and my place in it, children possess the growing integrity to also operate from these values. Even though I use every opportunity to model or discuss important values, I am tickled when I witness my son making such life-affirming choices on his own. Although making healthy choices is a function of development of consciousness, I see my child choosing generosity over selfishness, for-giveness over blame and integrity over dishonesty all the time Of course teaching family val-ues requires that you become an exemplary role model. If you're not acting from the val¬ues you espouse, then your children will learn that hypocrisy is acceptable.

When my son, Chuck, was 7 months old, his father and I split up. He left -- without saying goodbye, I might add -- to start a new life. I was a hormonal, heartbroken 25-year-old, and in between work hours spent teaching preschool, I nursed Chuck and mashed up baby food. That first year was chaos. It didn't help that there were no single-mom role models in my life -- except, say, Peppa, who was also parenting solo at the time. If she can do it, I can, I used to think, but I hardly had a superstar's life. Fortunately, I had a fantastic group of family and friends who helped. Maybe none of them knew exactly what I was going through, but they babysat and showered Chuck with love, which I appreciate to this day.

After a time, I got back on my feet and ventured out. And what did I see? A lot more single moms than I had ever noticed before. In fact, in 2000, nearly 4 in 10 babies in the U.S. were born outside of...
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