It’s the first day of spring break and I’m trying to check my emails that I’ve been neglecting when my son ignores my request to eat. I raise my voice and shame him for not taking a bigger bite. That’s when I put down my phone and realize I broke my own rule of not allowing electronic devices at the table. But what’s worse is he actually just wanted to talk to me in between bites so I ask him what he’s excited to do at Lego Land this week.
I’ve been working on my patience
recently all my life and I often have to apologize to my kids for my outbursts now and then. Luckily, toddlers are very forgiving.
We can all agree on one thing as parents, we want the best for our children. Often times, we do or say certain things that can have a negative impact on their growth. Even if it comes from a good place. So today, I’m sharing the 5 simple things I try to practice every day to ensure that my kiddos grow to be amazing humans.
1- exercising and eating healthy- Nearly 1 in 3 children from ages 2-19 is obese in America. It’s on the rise and I plan on combating that. Not only do I minimize the amount of sugar they take in, I also exercise with them. Now, when it comes to eating they are a whole new ball game. I prepare meals that we all like so we don’t end up making Mommy in to a short order cook. I’ve learned not to give up offering fruits and veggies. Eventually, after seeing you eat them, they will be curious to try eating it themselves. And sometimes I ask them to help me make food. Our favorite things to make are smoothies and pancakes. Helping make the food makes them feel important + they learn why certain foods are important in a daily diet. And what do they drink? Water. Almost all day.
2-showing affection- I’m a huge fan of morning radio and I distinctly remember a radio listener calling and sharing her thoughts on relationships. Now, it’s my motto when it comes to being WIFEY and a Mommy. I obviously have kids that occupy most my time. DUH. (That might be why I’m writing this at 10pm after everyone is asleep) But what good would my relationship with my spouse be if I only tended to the kids and forgot him? The way I see it, if my kids are getting all my attention and my love life is suffering, eventually, that will have a direct impact on my children. So now, my kids can wait and complain (if they like) but as soon as Romeo gets home, it’s all about him. Then, when they see Mom and Dad loving each others company, they will understand what a loving relationship looks like.
3- praying, meditating or practicing faith- Who or what you believe in says a lot to a tiny human. Over at our house, we choose God. Which means we choose Jesus. I pray every morning and because children are curious, they will want to pray too. It’s the cutest thing to hear my baby girl say she can’t go to bed without praying and holding hands. And to hear my son singing about Jesus is just the sweetest. I know it might not be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s okay. But what you show your kids will, without a doubt, stick with them for the rest of their lives. So why not teach them Love, peace, patience, courage, faith and everything that Jesus stood for?
4-showing respect- Self respect. Let’s teach our kids to respect themselves and their bodies. I used to think telling my kids that they need to “hug her/him” whether it be an Uncle or cousin was normal. After all, didn’t my parents say that to me? Well, if my child doesn’t feel comfortable hugging someone other than myself or my husband then by all means, don’t! Children are just learning about their bodies and by forcing them to touch others can lead to confusion later in life. My son feels comfortable offering hugs to many people under his own terms whereas my daughter doesn’t and I am so okay with that. Learning to respect your body goes hand in hand with respecting others as well.
5-Play- I’m sure you have seen this over and over if you read a lot of parenting blogs and such. Children need to play. I forget this like 90% of the time when I catch myself asking my sons teacher what I should be doing educationally during Spring break. He’s four. He needs only to play. Children actually learn the most while playing. Sure the structure is good, but when will they ever want to try new things if every action is followed by my re-action? Now this one I am guilty of. I am constantly cleaning up right behind my kids messes. Worried that playtime will result in some sort of accident or hurt. Sometimes I catch myself obsessing but childhood shouldn’t be restricted. I want my kids to have a sense of freedom and creativity. A few bruises and messes is okay in my book now. 😉
We have since started implementing clean up time which helps a lot. We also spend time (almost every day) outside since the weather is perfect. Other things I stress on are staying off my phone, dedicating specific hours to “work time,” talking to them rather than arguing (when someone is upset) and keeping most days scheduled to include “quiet time.” And lets be honest, quiet time is for my kids and I. Especially when I’m a stay at home Mom who also runs a blog. Not all these expectations are met and that’s okay too. That little voice inside my head that say’s I did’t do enough for my kids today, only makes me work harder the next day.
I hope you found this MOMent in Parenting to be helpful. These tips are my opinion and are only intended on encouraging you to share and explore with your kid(s). What simple guidelines do you go by?