I’d like to say, that after 75 years of living, I am an example of what a good mother should be. I’d like to say that, but unfortunately I’d be lying. Everything I did as a parent was merely by the seat of my pants and on a wing and a prayer – lots of prayer.
When my children were growing up, we didn’t have fancy dog kennels like the one above, but we did have play pens – which were similar in their capacity to contain the little buggers during their terrible twos. My first two children actually adored being in the playpen. They didn’t have to go far to find a toy, becauseevery toy they owned was in there with them. The sides were bursting out, due to overcrowding, but they continued to enjoy their time of imprisonment.
Somewhere along the parenting process, we convince ourselves that we need to become our child’s friend. That we need to put ourselves on their level in order to communicate with them. The truth is, our kids want to know who is in charge. They expect boundaries. Your job as a parent is to let them know you’re the boss. You’re not their buddy or BFF. You are the one who feeds and clothes them. You are their hero and being a hero is a great responsibility. Take the job seriously.
Teach your children how to communicate with others – not by giving them a smart phone or texting – but by actually talking to their friends. Conversation has become a lost art and it’s the basis for problem solving, team work, building relationships and communication skills. Limit the time they spend on electronics. They need to learn to talk to another human being. Talk to but don’t forget to listen to your children. Meal time and trips in the car are great opportunities to communicate with them. They need to know you’re interested in what’s going on in their lives.
Unfortunately our kids don’t come with all the skills necessary for becoming upstanding andadults. They have to be taught to respect others. This includes teachers, grandparents, police, pastors. even politicians and other kids. Everyone matters in this world. When you teach them to be unselfish, caring, thoughtful and sincere, your child will form lasting friendships.
Teach them to pray. Teach them the power of prayer and pray with them.
Let them know that problems can be solved without resorting to anger or violence. This is where communication comes into play again. Set a good example in your own behavior with others.
Of course children need to be taught the basics, like being courteous, waiting for others to be seated before eating, looking someone in the eye when talking to them. They need to know how to shake hands, say “excuse me,” use the right silverware and be polite. Remember, if you don’t teach them the right way to do things, someone else will surely teach them to do it the wrong way.
Our world is a precarious place to live. Changes occur by the second. The speed of technology has given us instant everything. We, as parents and grandparents, need to realize our responsibility to our children and treasure them as our greatest accomplishments.