Happy Monday everyone! I hope your weekend was as wonderful as mine... filled with church, family, laughter, and food :)
For those of you who read What I Have to Say About Parenting, here we go with all of my brilliant (and perhaps some not so brilliant) insights into the subject. It was so much harder than I thought to narrow everything I have to say into a blog post.... so here is part one.
One of the most invaluable things in parenting is an ability to ‘be real’ as I call it. So many parents don’t even realize it but they operate on the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ principal. This is probably one of the most detrimental concepts that ever had the audacity to present itself in the home.
Be the example you proclaim. Hypocritical parents can turn their kids off to them, the family, and God. What are they going to think of you if they hear you professing what you believe, and instructing others how to act, if they see your “other side” at home? If you profess to be a Godly man or woman, then you surely need to show them that at home. Do your kids ever see you reading the bible? Do you implement the necessary elements of Christian living into your daily life? Because trust me, your kids are watching you. It is you they are learning from.
Starting from a very young age, children are looking to their parents to be examples of everything that they are told is right. This doesn’t mean that the parents will never make mistakes. But that is one of the most important parts of the ‘be real’ concept. Yes, everyone makes mistakes, even parents. But as a parent you should not avoid it or pretend like nothing happened. You have to confront the issue at hand so that you do not present confusion for your children.
2.Open Lines of Communication
In my humble opinion, when going through the tough teenage years this is the most important element of parenting. Oftentimes parents don’t want to know and so they purposely look the other way. This is a critical mistake!
Kids need to know that you will listen without judging and encourage without condemnation. Don’t be afraid to talk about stuff, anything, and EVERYTHING. Most people would probably be shocked at the easy way all of us kids can talk about unmentionable things with our parents. But it is because of this, because we always knew we could talk to them, that we did not feel the need to go find the numerous dirty things in the world for ourselves.
Make it a point to ask your kids how they are doing, how things are going. Listen to each one as individuals and deal with them according to learning capabilities and reasoning. Discuss ideas, dreams, and plans. And listen, I mean truly listen, to your children. If you listen to what they have to say, they will go to you when they want someone to talk to. They will ask you for advice.
3.Find Your Disneyland
My dad claims that having fun is the third most important thing that he could have taught us. I mean, truly to enjoy life and live like you are doing it on purpose.
In our family we refer to Disneyland as our ‘happy place’. Find something that you all enjoy doing together as a family and do it often.
My parents made it so wonderful for all of us to be together as a family that we had no desire to look for fun anywhere else. Our friends became part of our family fun as opposed to us searching outside the home for a good time. They showed us the beauty of good, clean fun, which bonded all of us together.
It is really quite simple, you be the one to show your kids how wonderful life really is.