I’m not Supernanny, or any type of expert in anything but drinking lattes, but I felt compelled to write this post today.
I’m just a Mom who wants to share some parenting advice to other Moms – because I’m a mom, but I was also a kid once too.
- TELL YOUR KIDS YOU LOVE THEM – Don’t assume your kids know that you love them, and please don’t say that your kids “know you love them” so you don’t have to say it. Take it from me, your kids need to hear it. They WANT to hear it, and often. Say it every day, say it all the time. It’s such a little thing that makes such a difference. Believe me when I tell you that even as adults, you can remember that your mom or dad never said I love you, even though you know they did.
- BE THERE FOR YOUR KIDS – Tell your kids that they can tell you anything, no matter what it is and that you’ll love them regardless. Tell them that you are their biggest supporter and greatest ally. Not feeling that you can talk to your parents about the scary stuff is so alienating and sad.
- BE POSITIVE – Instead of taking the negative approach, focus on the positive. Make a point of reinforcing the good behavior instead of only punishing the bad stuff. Feeling like you never do anything right just sucks. I promise you, your kids take that feeling with them into adulthood – it’s not something that is forgotten just because they grew up.
- TRUST GOES BOTH WAYS – There comes a point where you have to trust your kids to make the right decisions – give them that opportunity. They might fail, they might make a mistake or make a bad choice, but that’s how kids learn. Overprotect them to the point of suffocating them and they will resent you – another feeling that never quite goes away.
- DON’T PLAY FAVORITES – It’s one thing to tell your kids that you love them all equally, and it’s another to show it. Don’t play favorites because one child is easier to parent than the other – just don’t. Don’t encourage or reward tattling and don’t use your kids as a means to finding out what the other kid is doing. Create and encourage an environment where your kids want to spend time together, where they want to be each other’s confidant, where they are each other’s best friend. Your children eventually grow up and remember that you played favorites, and that resentment will show in their adult relationships with their siblings.
- IT’S THEIR LIFE – Don’t live your life through your kids. Their life is their own, and at some point they will grow up and want to be their own person. Stopping them from doing that on the premise that you’re protecting them is just wrong. You don’t want them to go away for school because you didn’t? Tough shit – how is that their fault? Don’t you want your kids to have every opportunity? Can you live with yourself knowing that their potential might have been snuffed out by your over-protectiveness? Trust me when I tell you, they will hate you for it.
- YOU CAN BE A MOM AND STILL HAVE A LIFE – Your own life didn’t end when you became a mom. You still have the right to live out your dreams and aspirations, and you can still do that and be a great mom. Don’t stop living your life – your kids eventually grow up and then what? Will you blame your kids for the fact that you have “no life” because your kids have left the nest? Your life is your own, and if you do nothing with it – then look in the mirror and ask yourself why you let that happen. Carve out the time to be yourself, because you deserve it and so does your sanity.