“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Monday, May 9, 2011

Parenting 101

     I absolutely can not wait to be a mother. I have said it so many times before and have dreamt of the day. One of the things I do to prepare for motherhood is make a list of the things I want to do with my kids before stressful days of dirty diapers, a 2 page to-do list, a house to clean, and a husband to feed consume my mind. I have a feeling that in that situation I won't think of brilliant parenting ideas.
     Another thing that I seem to notice is horrible parenting. Or parenting that drives me nuts. Or kids that don't know how to behave. So.... I have decided to write a blog on my tips on parenting. Sure, I don't have a kid or a husband. And no, I'm not a scholar on parenting. But- I babysit. I watch. I pretend. I notice things. And I have a blog. So I can write it if I want to. :) Hehe.

Parenting 101

-You may spank your child. It is not abuse. Sometimes it is simply what needs to be done. I can clearly point out children that I know are not "spanked" children. It is not abuse. Sure- you don't beat your child. But a nice spanking is not going to kill. Spare the rod.... not a good idea.

- Allow your children to answer questions. If you are constantly answering questions for them they will never learn to communicate.

-Restaurants: Let your child order their food. This is something that they will have to do for the rest of their life. At the age of 5 if something was wrong with my hamburger my mom told me to go to the counter to get it fixed. I now know how to deal with the public, with restaurants, with managers, and with people. I can answer if I want Coca Cola (duh) or sweet tea. I think your child can as well.

      -If you are worried that they will order the most expensive items- give them a budget. Look at the menu before hand... decide an appropriate price and tell them that they have 8 dollars to spend tonight, tip included. This teaches them to spend within their means and whenever they are 20 they won't cut their server dry on a tip because they can't plan out beforehand.

-Allow them to make decisions. Even if you know they will fail. If they always succeed- what are they going to do when they go to college or get in the real world. Making mistakes is part of life- they must learn to deal with them.

-If your child falls- it will be okay. Allow them to get up themselves without having you hovering over them.

-They can wait for juice if you are in the middle of a conversation. If you meet every want that they have at that instant moment you are raising NOW monsters. And at the age of 16 that isn't going to be pretty.

-Get creative with your discipline. Parent like Jesus parents. Not out of fear. (this comes from a Kris Vallotin teaching) You don't want your kids scared of every thing they do. Allow them to make mistakes but also give them options. Example: "I would like you to set the table, if you choose not to you can sit i your room while the rest of the family eats." This teaches your child to think of how they can prepare in life. If they set the table... then they will have something to eat their food on. And FOLLOW THROUGH. Don't give them food an hour after dinner. (Once again, this isn't abuse. They can miss a meal. It's like fasting. It's biblical.)

-Parent is teamwork. Mom back your husband up. Dad, back your wife up. Even if you don't agree at the moment. If they know that Mom and Dad mean business and Dad won't get them out of trouble then they will be less likely to do "wrong". They also will respect the two parents for having each others backs.

-Take your child on dates. Real ones. Let them get dressed up... clean up the truck... dress up... and treat them nice. Reward them for good grades.

-Teach your child to make "inside out decisions".  To decide to do right because that is what their heart knows to do. Or what the Holy Spirit says.

-Communicate with your children. Let them know your expectations. Encourage them. Love them

-Hug your child. Tell them you love them.

-If you have to buy your child something everytime you go to WalMart.... not a good idea. What are ya gonna do when your in carlots? Think of the future. They need to be behave because it's the right thing/ what mom needs/ etc, etc.

-Read One Minute Mom .... my mother read it.... and wished she had it when we were younger. All 3 children love our mom and dad and respect them incredibly much. We can sit down and have dinner without yelling and without hating it. I look forward to spending time with them.

-Invest in your child without spoiling. It is perfectly okay for your child to pay for their own gas, have a job at 16, and pay for their own college. They will appreciate it. Don't spoil your child. Doesn't matter how much money you have. They will have to know how to manage money in the future and if you bail them out every time....... how will they know? It's okay for them to have overdraft fees..... let them figure out how to fix it.

-Stop arguing with your spouse. You expect your children to get a long and not fight... but you sit and fight with your spouse, say hateful things, don't encourage, and totally disrespect them. Lead by example.

-Find out their love language and feed it. :) http://www.5lovelanguages.com/

-Let them clean their own room. Seriously, why are you cleaning it? That's ridiculous. Same with laundry. These are things they WILL have to do on their own.

-Give them a bedtime so you can have time with your spouse.

-Date night. This teaches your child that he/she will be okay without mommy or daddy all of the time. And shows the importance of your spouse in your life.

-There are times to be a parent and times to be a friend. Most of the time.... you need to be a parent. They have friends at school.

-Order of priorities: 1. God 2. Spouse 3. Children
My mother will still choose spending time with my dad over me. She still makes time for me but I know that if they have date night- they are going, alone. This does not hurt my feelings. This makes me feel secure because I know my parents will not get a divorce. Your child is petrified of you divorcing your husband or wife. Don't do it. Not fair to children. You took a vow... find your passion with your spouse and make it work. Love is a choice.

-Don't yell at your spouse. This teaches that yelling is an appropriate form of communication.

-LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. Lead in love. Serve with your child. And by golly- get em in church. :)

Yay! If you made it to the end of the list. I congratulate you. I wish I could apologize if I offended you... but I won't. Because sometimes the truth is what we need to hear. We aren't perfect. I guarantee I'm going to need to re-read my own blog once I have my own precious children. And if you're offended.... it might mean because you need to tweak some ideas on parenting. I love you. I love your kids. I can't wait for me to read a young woman's blog on parenting who doesn't have kids some day. It shall be a taste of my own medicine. And medicine it is..... might actually. help me out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow. From a mom of 3, and someone who saw you go through your DTS, kudos! Great material in here!