Hey, I’m the parent! Part 1

                                   Children…what would we do without them?Yet there are times when it is so easy to get bogged down by little details and not see the big picture in terms of doing the right thing by our kids. This is by no mean a thesis on child rearing, and everyday I learn something new, something insightful to help my children navigate the path to adulthood. Here are a few tips.

1.Be consistent:In  consistency lies the power…..the power to create change.Be consistent with setting boundaries for your children when they are little so that it becomes a pattern when they are older.Do not changes your rules to suit different situations.If the rule is bedtime at 9,by all means keep bedtime at 9.If the rule is no sugary drinks after 6 pm, try to stick to it.If the punishment for lying is removal of privileges,let it remain so.That does not mean you should not be flexible(Come on, do you have to enforce the no sugar after 6pm at Grandmas once a year thanksgiving party?),but overall your children should be able to tell within reason what the consequences of their actions might be.

2.Be fun:It is important to have fun with your children.Smaller children are easier to please,a two year old will have fun popping bubbles while you blow them!As children get older, it is important to find out what would be fun for them, not what you think would make them feel happy.Fun times create happy memories for children.As an adult are your fondest memories those of being told off as a child?Of course not.There are certainly times to be busy and serious and even stern,but do not make your child’s life ALL about that.

3.Be an example:Do you use cuss words?Do you say please and thank you?Do you overreact?Do you talk a lot?Do you snap at people?Are you moody?Do you like to read books?Are you outdoorsy?Do you laugh a lot?Are you hospitable and welcoming or shy and retiring?What you do not want your children to do tomorrow,do not do in front of them today.As a parent you have to model the type of behaviour you want to see in your child.What about friends?What about school?They do not train your children, you the parent have to consistently be the person you want your child to be.Do not call your child names and expect him not to have a dirty mouth.Do not gossip about your friends in front of him and expect him to grow up liking people. It is not going to happen! The Bible says you reap what you sow.

4.Be the parent:Ah yes!Parenting is not a popularity contest.It sometimes requires you to take tough decision for your children’s sake and stick to them.It may mean no candy and sugary drinks for some and it may mean 7pm cufew for others;or not hanging out with a particular friend.Yet again it may mean being forced to miss a meal because little Johnny just keeps forgetting to take his lunch to school with him.Do you want your childen to like you so much that you do not discipline them?Beware,you are sowing the wind and the resulting whirlwind you may reap could have devastating consequences.Working mothers, beware of trying to cover up “working mother’s guilt” by letting kids do whatever they like because,”I don’t see her often enough so I’m not going to spend what little time we have together telling her off”.Really?

Watch this space for the second part of “Hey I’m the parent!”

 

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