Parenting 101 has been written as a tribute both to my parents and to my children. To my parents because they connected me to their heart and to God's heart and gave me a strong sense of inner self, and to my children because they are connecting their children to their heart and raising the next generation well.
I would like to honor my mother, Olive Kathleen (Consterdine) Dunton who lived until I was 8 years old, and who left me with many gentle memories and a strong faith.
My mother was involved in a program at Glad Tidings in Victoria, B.C. when I was little. When a new baby was born, she would go to visit them and network and get to know them and take some information on how to be a good parent and how to teach children to love God. I have had many people tell me how much that meant to them when she came and visited them and some still have the material and certificates. Parenting 101 has borrowed this original idea - to be used as a non-program network between church communities and new parents.
I would also like to give credit to Mary Ann Hawkes who taught me as a young 'mom to be' that 'motherhood isn't terminal'. She said you should involve yourself with activities that suit your children at all ages of their lives, and then afterwards you can do other things- - she demonstrated this by going back to University after her boys were grown, teaching some English courses and then going to Asia with her husband Paul Hawkes to do ministry. She was a great example to me and for this I thank her.
The 'motherhood isn't terminal' idea was very important to me, and also formed a basis for parenting 101. Our culture pushes us to do everything and own everything all at once, leaving little time for our children. Children need all the time we can give them, and they need to connect to our heart and trust us or they will find it very difficult to trust God, and they will likely have difficulty with all their relationships, which is a very painful way to live. So the message is that parenting only lasts for awhile and it is worth doing well. If all goes well, after our children are grown we will have 20 to 50 years to pursue whatever we want; if all does not go well, as in the case of my mother, we will have done the most important thing well.
My prayer is that you will walk hand in hand with God on this adventure of connecting your child to your heart.