Parenting is an area I knew that presence mattered! It’s so valuable to be involved with your children and to spend a lot of time with them because you get to bond, build trust, safety, and show them what it feels like to be loved unconditionally.
Of course I’ve learned from my own experiences with my parents and concluded that I didn’t want to take the super “strict” way. I had a somewhat balance of extremes growing up with my father being very strict and my mother allowing me & my siblings a lot of “freedom”. I can appreciate the upbringing I had because it’s molded my thinking in a way that laid a good foundation for me. Solely being told what to do like an authoritarian would, isn’t the best. In my opinion, that doesn’t allow children/teenagers to think for themselves and make decisions for them to learn 1st hand (also they tend to act out and do more “damage” when they’re finally on their own”). So becoming a parent, it’s put a lot of learning and developing another human’s mind, my little humans’ minds into a whole new perspective for me. Depending on the situation, I intentionally allow my kids to learn for themselves so they can get a deeper meaning as to why I teach them what I teach them.
For instance, I had to let my son (when he was about 2 or 3yrs) to get as close to touching fire so he understood what “hot” meant. Otherwise, it would just be another word to him without REAL association to the meaning. Another situation that happened just 2yrs ago while my family was vacationing, my oldest learned the hard way after I told him not to go pass the 3ft mark in the pool (because he wasn’t a “real swimmer to save himself”). (Read more from my blog: “Kids learn from experiences…because well, they are curious!”) I closed my eyes for just a few moments and as soon as I realized I dozed off, my son was heading pass the 3ft mark following a boy he met. I got up without being in a panic and walked over to him and I could see the water right under his nose and him being on his tippy toes. I let him get a feel for just how dangerous that was for him to not listen when I told him to stay safe over anything. A nearby adult in the pool ended up helping him but he learned his lesson after that…and he’ll agree too!!
Now I’m not saying that every situation they need to know 1st hand but they’ll be developing a situational awareness and what real consequences will be and how they’ll be affected. Because I’m with my kids a lot, I share with them daily about LIFE from showing different situations via videos, our life, etc about compassion, danger, behavior, language use and affirmations, wealth creation, poverty, junk foods, illness, importance of health, strength, and so forth.
Oh and one advice that I received from an aunt, was to let my “no mean no, and my yes mean yes”. I don’t take everyone’s advice but that was really a stern statement to make so my children understand that I mean what I say and I have integrity with my words. So when times I don’t feel like it, I have to make sure I fulfill what I said because my kids with follow the same when they have expectations from me. So if I tell them I’ll take them to the bouncy place on the wknd, and if I’m too tired…well I still have to go (me keeping my word). However, for instance, when they say they’re going to fold their clothes but they don’t, then I share that next time I’ll mislead them into “believing me” or I’ll bring that up whenever they want to do something and I’ll say and have a firm, “NO”.
Parenting is great and I’m still learning. Each year there are so many new experiences and new information to instill into my kids. And while I want to allow my kids to enjoy their childhood, sometimes I get caught off guard with questions and exposure they’ve had from outside influences. OMG! But that’s why I stress “presence” so my kids can come to me and we can have conversations without them feeling uncomfortable and scared to talk to be because they fear what my reaction will be. We’re a family and that’s what we value together. It’s my duty to be their 1st influencer (by actually being INVOLVED with them); and that’s what I’m committed to… ensuring they’re well taking care of mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and socially!
For more tips on Parenting from other single mom bloggers, CLICK ON THIS LINK, Secrets for a Successful Life. This is a collaboration with single mom bloggers & it’s the 5th month of a 7 month series we’ll share insights on different topics from our unique journeys! 😉
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Letting your “no mean no” is advice I received as well. Along the same lines is not giving your child an empty threat. It’s one I have always tried to implement – it can just be hard when you are tired and frustrated. One of my kids can see right through me when I try an empty threat or an empty “no”. I’ve learned if I’m going to give an ultimatum I better be ready to see it through!