Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Parenting from experience

I'm so expert, I just have been a mom for 8 1/2 years so I thought I would share things I've learned along the way.

1. You are the parent. (to make it easy I'll use he) He is the child.
2. Cuddles are necessary.
3. When you're making decisions for your child you need to make sure it's actually for him & not to impress others.
4. Stick to your word. If you say "you are going to sit in time out for x,y,z" and he does x,y,z then sit that boy in time out.
5. Speaking of time outs, they're not fun and they take practice. He doesn't understand time out, so you have to teach him. It will take a lot of you being the parent and him fighting you along the way.
6. And more cuddles.
7. Bed time. Oh, it can be the absolute worst thing ever to deal with. Make sure however you make it work that it will work for the long haul. What I've seen with mine is by about 3ish they really start to understand when it's bedtime, it's bedtime.
8. Meals. That can also be a place of tension. What we have done is if the child refuses to eat his food then he can get down from the table, the plate goes in the microwave & when he's hungry he eats the food. Dinner time wars are no good & will not create a peaceful space to gather at the table.
9. Just like you have had to learn your spouses interests, you will need to learn your children's interests.
10. You children are watching & listening to everything. If you talk negatively about how someone looks, your child will also. If you talk about how fat you are & give disgusting looks to yourself in the mirror, watch as you child does the same. If you pray, watch your child pray. Be very aware of this.
11. He knows more that you think he does. He has been watching you since the day he was born. He is picking up on cues about the world, others & himself based on you.
12. Parenting is H A R D. There are going to be so many situations that make parenting seem too hard or that no decision makes sense or all the decisions make sense.
13. Have a relationship with Jesus. He will guide you. He will allow you to know things that your children didn't even have to tell you to parent better.
14. You're going to screw up. There's no amount of reading, that is going to make you a perfect parent. That parent doesn't exist.
15. Your pediatrician is smart, your mother has experience & grandma is wise. But at the end of the day, he is your child. You have to make decisions. Don't allow someone to make you feel small in your parenting.
16. Enjoy it. It goes far too fast to wish away the 2am wake up calls, or toddler sleep fights.

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