To continue on the theme this week, I am posting some of my personal tips for parenting. And while I am not up for Mother of the Year anytime soon (will my kids ever eat a vegetable?), these are things I have learned being a mom.
1. Hug your kids as much as you can. Sometimes our kids can drive us crazy, but we still love them. So I will randomly just give them a big hug to let them know I am here for them. Plus, they will soon become embarrassed by me, so even better!
2. Buy a DVR/TiVO. Some will argue that kids should not watch too much TV, and for the most part, I agree. But I could not live without my DVR. I don’t remember the last time I actually sat and watched NCIS or Hart of Dixie in real time, because we are too busy with dinner, dance class or swimming lessons. Sometimes I even record the 10 o’clock news! And bonus tip – it doesn’t take as long to watch your favorite show since you can skip the commercials.
3. Buy something to keep them occupied in the car if you travel a lot (Nintendo DS, DVD players, iPad, etc.) Yes, no parent wants their kids to be hooked on video games or watch too much TV. But on a 10 hour car ride, there are only so many times you can hear “Are we there yet?” before you want to just drive off a cliff. So save everyone’s sanity and get them something that will entertain everyone for hours. (This also works for husbands, as when my girls were really little, my hubby watched the Broncos’ Super Bowl win with the girls!).
4. Avoid the family drama. Face it, every family has drama. Currently, my kids are too young to understand all of issues and for that I am thankful. They need to be able to make up their own minds when they are older. For now, we just avoid the awkward situations that will upset them, while still giving them a chance to love everyone.
5. Find “family” that will love your kids no matter what. Similar to #4, family does not have to mean blood relatives. Make sure to spend time with those people who are truly wonderful to you and your family.
6. Don’t take 1 syllable words as the final answer. How was your day? “FINE.” Anything happen at school? “NO.” You probably hear these answers a lot. So keep asking more questions. “How was Ella today? Did you have fun at recess? What words/projects did you work on today?” Etc.
7. Lead by example. Yes – I know this sounds simple, but as adults, we often think we know better than our kids. Like my hubby looking at football scores on his phone while driving or me speeding…because I want them to do that when they are 16. Or saying something inappropriate. My hubby is still upset because A randomly says “holy crap” after hearing me say that (although better than what I actually wanted to say.)
8. Explain to your kids why you work. Many of us feel guilty for working (not getting into the SAHM debate here). So when your kids want you to stay home or pick them up from school, explain why you work and what your job provides for them. It probably doesn’t make you feel less guilty, but it gives them a sense of why you have to work.
9. Let your kids know you make mistakes too. While I want my girls to realize that I am the boss/person in charge, I am also need them to know I am not perfect either. I make mistakes, the same as they do. And it’s ok to make mistakes – we just need to learn from them.
10. Tell you kids you love them every day. Similar to #1, letting your kids know that you love them gives them self confidence to go out and be themselves. Time passes so fast (I can’t believe my girls are going to be 6 in July!) it never hurts to let your kids know they are loved!