February 09, 2009

Parenting is a Journey....a long one

After 7 years of parenting and 3 great kids this is what I've got so far.....

Every child is different. You can't parent them the same because they respond differently.

The more devilish they are the cuter they are. It prevents you from killing them.

Crying is just how they tell you something. Finish your shower. They are fine.

A 2 year old will not starve herself. She will eat eventually. Don't worry.

You can never go wrong with a nap and early bedtime. That goes for your child as well as yourself.

Stickers come out looking pretty much the same. That goes for corn and kiwi as well.

Let them get dirty. It washes off. And if it doesn't...who really cares.

Stay far away from sparkles....unless you want to be vacuuming them for a year.

Same goes for confetti of any sort.

When they are 'too tired to pick up their toys', tell them you will help them but you will put what you find into a garbage bag. You will be surprised how fast they move.....You only have to do it once ;)

Praise in Public, Rebuke in Private.

The day you lose it on them, your windows WILL be open and your neighbor will be walking by.

Don't ever expect a child in white to stay clean. Just don't bother. Really it is not worth it.

Let them dress themselves. It is no big deal. People will think you are a better mom for letting them choose.

Remember to kiss them, hug them and tell them you love them EVERYDAY...even if you are mad.

You don't want to raise a robot, so don't raise them to obey your every command. Teach them to voice their opinion while respecting and honoring yours.

Always Always be consistent. They smell weakness.

Remember that they are kids and not mini adults. They are not going to get it the first time. So be patient.

They are not adults, but treat them with the same respect as you would an adult. They just want to be loved and valued like the rest of us.

Allow them to be kids. Allow them to make mistakes and explore their world. Kids like to touch things and figure it out. Get used to it.

Slow down and allow them to 'help'. Let them learn to do by watching you and helping. Give them a simple task. Let your task take 5-10 minutes longer. It is worth it. They just want to do what you are doing. So let them.

Kids are really....really funny. Laugh with them.

Say you are sorry when you mess up. You are not always right.

They are wonderful but are not ALL you are. Take time for yourself and your spouse. It shows the kids that you are to be valued as well and shows them what a marriage is.

Do things that are right for you are your family. Don't do it just because that is what you are 'supposed' to do. Nobody else knows what they are doing either.

Stand up for your kids

Give them chores. They are capable and you are not a slave.

Don't expect more of them than they can handle...it leads to disaster and disappointment.

You are their parent and not their friend. Let them make friends at the park. Sit on the bench and make friends with other moms.

Don't put your young children in too many activities. They will decide what they are 'into' later on. Just because you didn't expose them at 3 does not mean they won't do it later.

Don't push them into learning something they REALLY don't want to do. They will resent either resent you or the activity. Your child will show his/her gifts in time....when they are ready.

Never EVER underestimate a child who tells you they are about to Barf.

If you yell at them....they will yell at you. I mean really....we set the example.

If you take a tired and hungry child to the grocery store for just one more errand....EXPECT to be the lady at the checkout with the screaming child. Don't worry. We have all been there.

Sometimes they will fight/kick/ scream /flail for no apparent reason. It is not always something you did.

Cuddle on the couch as much as you can.

If you want them to go outside and get fresh air everyday, you should probably do the same.

Be honest with them. The tooth Fairy is ALWAYS an exception ;)

Children love routine. They like to know what to expect from the day and from you. Giving them 15/5 minute warnings will make life A LOT easier.

Don't be afraid of packing everything up and going home 5 minutes after you arrive if your child is being a stinker. They WILL scream all the way home but it will never happen again. Again...they like to know what to expect from you.

If you give them 5 chances they will take all 5. If you wait until you are about to blow your top before you stop them....They won't stop till you blow your top.

They won't be little forever. This is both good and bad.

And Finally....

You are going to have bad days....Really bad days. But so does the most 'perfect' mom you know. And you will have great days....Really great days. Cherish them.


ValleyGirl said...

Great, GREAT advice!! I love this post, Alyson. I may need to print it out and post it somewhere to remind myself more often of a lot of these things.

Erin said...

wise words my dear

Ann said...

AMEN sister!!! Thanks for the reminder....kids will be kids and they are blessings even when we don't think they are!!!

Stephanie said...

Wonderful advice!

Mrs Parks said...

I think you should have this printed and a copy should be given to EVERY new parent before they leave the hospital.

Thank you for the reminder :)

momofthecrazies said...

So much wisdom. Especially about the barf.

Nancy said...

Wow! Well done!

Y'know how in yoga you do a front "fold" (bend)? It's like a deep, deep bow? That is what I will do before you next time I see you!!!