The time has come! The precious baby you have been waiting for has arrived either through blood, sweat and tears or adoption. Either way, it is a blessing and your life will never be the same! I don't know about you but I worried from day one how to raise my child to be responsible, caring, yet creative, independent and able to think for herself in this world where conformity is the norm. Three children later, I have found some keys steps to help build a deeper relationship with your child and to help your child develop the building blocks to be who they are meant to be.
You see good kids are not born, they are raised. What you do with them and how you shape your home, their learning environment, is key to their development. 1.
Expect Manners. While standing in line at McDonalds with my children the other day I had a sense of joy while looking down at my children, who were, and I quote, starving, according to them, yet they waited patiently for their turn to order. Next to us were 3 children about the same age. The older two were running circles around the mother who was not only frazzled but trying to control the younger child who was having a full blown temper tantrum on the floor. Believe me, my children are by no means angels.
Like all children, they have their moments when they lack self control, don't we all? Yet, when we are in a social situation, the limits are stated as well as the consequences of their choices. My husband and I both expect our children to be polite, respectful to adults and to use their pleases and thank yous. High and consistent expectations create well mannered children and less stressed parents. 2. Model the behavior you want your children to display. If you don't model and explain why you do what you do, your children will look to society, their friends and TV for a model.
Children are like clay and need to be formed. You need to take the time to work with your children, to get to know them and to explain why you pray before a meal, why you don't use swear words, even though your neighbors do, and why they need to earn the money they receive. Then be consistent with your behaviors. Children who see their parents reading, become readers. Readers become leaders. Children who see their parents treating each other with respect, will in turn feel safe and will model respect and kindness with their siblings as well as their future spouses.
Making an investment in your children from the beginning, the rewards will be great as they grow up! 3. Turn off the TV. The only TV our children watch is Public Television programming right before our schooling.
While on a trip, we stayed at a hotel and after exploring, swimming and eating, we turned on the TV. I was shocked at the language being used, the assortment of programming available, and what was being offered. Call me a prude. You may have all ready. I want to be raising our children, not a time robber, mind numbing machine like the TV.
Think about this, how often do you talk with your children when they are watching TV? Read a book, work on a project together, do a puzzle, or do chores together. Turn off the TV and allow your children to think! 4. Look, listen and bend.
When you speak with your child ask them, do you need my eyes or my ears? My 5 year old will grab my face so I am looking at him when he needs to ask me a question. My girls, 7 and 9, will often ask a question while I am making dinner and will let me know if they need my eyes, to have me look at them, or my ears, to keep working but to really listen and respond. Take the time to get eye to eye and nose to nose. How do you feel when you are not being listened to? I have found with my own children that they act up more when I am not taking the time to really listen with not only my body but also my mind. Take time to listen and really get to know your children when they are young so they will talk with you when the issues get more difficult as they get older. 5.
Allow children to express their feelings within boundaries. First of all, define your boundaries. What do you do when you are angry, frustrated or happy? Children will model you.
They are watching and following not only what you do but what you say and how you say it. In our home, we build up. Tearing down is not allowed. When I get mad, and I do, I talk my way through it and share what I do to get my self through it. You see, we all have choices. Children have choices as to how they react as well.
If they only see our poor choice, that is what they will model. If you take the time to talk about positive ways to handle challenges and truly, laugh more, your children will do the same. Allow positives, not negatives. Words like can't, don't, won't and even boring are not allowed in our home.
When water spills at the dinner table, we talk about what they need to do to fix it themselves. When my cell phone gets dropped into the toilet, after breathing and counting to 10, we talk about what needs to be done now and next time. I wish for you that you develop a philosophy of no problem is too big for us to handle- together, in your home as well.
6.Strong, Consistent, and Unified parenting is a must. If you are married, work hard at your marriage.
Show your love for each other by hugging, and when fighting, fight fair! If you are a single parent, make sure you are positive about your ex-spouse and their family as well. As humans our first need is to feel safe and loved. If your home is full of turmoil, this is affecting your children. As a married couple, put your relationship with your spouse before the children. Yes, that is right.
When your children see that they are not the center of the household and that their parents love each other, they have the freedom to relax and be kids. 7. Allow your children to develop their gifts and talents not those you want them to have.
Your children may or may not enjoy what you enjoy or be good at what you used to be good at. You are truly their guide on the side, to provide opportunities and experiences so they can decide for themselves what they enjoy and what they are good at. Each child, just like each adult, has a gift. Children are not our vessels to live out our dreams. Have fun watching your child become who they are designed to be, to live out their purpose on this earth.
Enjoy the process, enjoy your child for who they are, and expect only the best and enjoy the time of your life with the precious gifts with which you have been blessed!.
Kelly Wissink, has been building a successful business from home after leaving the teaching field. She and her husband Curt, have 3 creative and fun loving children who are becoming budding entrepreneurs as well. Please visit their family business at http://www.SoyandBeyond.com. Need help with Organization? Please help yourself to a free e-book from Kelly at by sending a blank email