Sep
29

Some Parenting Advice From This Mom

by MARIA on September 29, 2011

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.
I hope this post doesn’t sound preachy – that’s not the point of this post. It’s about me sharing some things I’ve noticed, and perhaps experienced in some way.
I support you Moms. You deserve to be happy. So do I.
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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 nicole September 29, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Love it Maria!

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2 MARIA September 29, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Thanks so much NIcole – I appreciate you reading it!

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3 C @ Kid Things September 29, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Some days, it seems like I’m telling my kids I love them at least once an hour. But it’s such a little thing that goes a long way. This was all right on.

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4 MARIA September 29, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Thanks so much – and yes I find that as well. My kids love hearing it too (and saying it thankfully.)

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5 Kameron September 29, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I agree 100%! I can’t imagine not telling my kids that I love them every day….several time a day!! I give lots of hugs and kisses too. Kids need affection and to know that they are loved unconditionally, even if they mess up. It sounds like a lot of these points are coming from experience for you. I’m sorry if you dealt with these things first-hand. What is amazing is that you took that experience and are trying to change that for your kids. :) You are a mom and a person too. That doesn’t change just because you give birth. You should be able to have friends, have “me time” ALONE, and do things to keep you happy and SANE. Having kids changes your whole life and it is so important to hold onto the things that keep you going. Keep up the good work!

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6 Adrienne September 29, 2011 at 2:35 pm

This is so true. I love the last point about maintaining your own life. I know too many moms that devote their life to the kids, and forget about the importance of taking care of yourself. Adult time is necessary for parental sanity!

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7 MARIA September 29, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Yes, and it’s something that we need to remind ourselves every single day. Thanks so much for your comment!

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8 Chantal September 29, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I agree 100% with everything you said. Not preachy at all! A reminder is always a good thing :)

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9 MARIA September 29, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Thanks Chantal!!

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10 nadja (athenabee) September 29, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Perhaps we could turn this into a public service announcement? Brochure I mail out? You know,ANYTHING to get the word out to some people.

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11 Sarah September 29, 2011 at 6:10 pm

I. LOVE. THIS!

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12 MARIA September 29, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Coming from you, that means a lot – thanks Sarah!!

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13 fit vs fiction September 29, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Love it.

It’s funny..when I say, “I Love You” to my kids..my favorite response to hear back isn’t “I love you too”….it’s “I Know”. I Loooove that my kids KNOW I love them..I will always remember how loved my mother made me feel and how secure I felt because of it..that’s what I want for my boys. :o)

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14 Maria @amotherworld September 29, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Beautifully written!

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15 Maria @amotherworld September 29, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Beautifully written! Such a great reminder to parents and helpful to new parent.s

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16 Ernesta Rossi September 29, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Lovely words of wisdom! May I add one more? When my little guy initiates a hug I make sure to hug him right back with even more gusto – want him to feel the love through and through!

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17 MARIA September 29, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Absolutely – I’m all about the hugging too.

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18 Tabitha P September 30, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Awesome post! Some really good reminders in there. Thanks for sharing Maria!

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19 MARIA September 30, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Thanks Tabitha!!!

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20 A Mother's Thoughts September 30, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Awesome!! You’ve summed it up perfectly Maria. I agree 100%, we are their platform.

Lynn

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21 colormeroo October 2, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Awesome post and all terrific points! :)

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22 crazypants October 3, 2011 at 8:01 am

I don’t have me any kidlets, but when I do, I’m going to keep this in mind. I agree, you can never assume your kids just KNOW. I always marvel when parents make the decision to let kids do certain things. Like, how do you know you can trust them? I guess you know your own kid… but it still freaks me out.

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23 MARIA October 3, 2011 at 8:52 am

I can’t lie – the whole thing freaks me out on a daily basis.

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24 There's Just One Mommy October 3, 2011 at 8:39 pm

So. very. true. I don’t remember hearing “I love you” from my parents. In fact, I don’t remember hugs. Sad. I make sure I tell my kids every day. Probably about a dozen times at least, that I love them.

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