10 Things I Wish I Learned Earlier As A Parent

Raising kids can be difficult and often times we’re left with doubt that we, as parents, are on the right track or that we’re even on the road at all.  To help with this…Here’s my Top Ten Things I Wish I Learned Earlier As A Parent. Ever wished after giving birth, in lieu of new bought onesies, someone handed you an instruction manual instead?  Raising kids can be difficult and often times we’re left with doubt that we, as parents, are on the right track or that we’re even on the road at all.  To help with this…Here’s my Top Ten Things I Wish I Learned Earlier As A Parent.

  1. Choose Your Words Carefully- Words have power. In a matter of just one sentence we can either MAKE a child’s day or can CRUSH a child’s spirit. Peggy O’Mara pretty much summed it up when she said, “The way we talk to children will become their inner voice.”
  2. Be Your Child’s Biggest Cheerleader-Believe in him even when he doesn’t believe in himself.
  3. Add Routines and Make Traditions- Routines help your kids understand what is expected of them and will have a solid foundation for making better choices. As for traditions, kids LOVE having something to look forward to. Something as simple as Friday night movie night could nurture their spirit and give them a sense of belongingness.
  4. Connect With Teachable Moments- Embrace the little moments when you can slip some life lessons in. These quick lessons not only will echo in your child’s mind for years to come, these moments tend to bring you closer and cultivate your relationship.
  5. Eyes are watching- When in doubt…know that THEY ARE WATCHING AND LISTENING to everything you are doing and saying. What we need to realize as parents we hold the highest responsibility for our own kids. Remember, our home is actually their first classroom.
  6. Time vs. Toys- Yes, kids need toys. But in reality what they REALLY want is time with you. It could be something as simple as a set Mommy or Daddy time each day or a full out “Date Night With My Parents” once a month. When planning your week, write in a day that could be purposefully set aside for your child.
  7. Unplug and Read- Children look to us as their guide.  It’s really difficult for them to understand why they need to have time without technology if mom and dad are constantly plugged in.  Unplug and read to them and listen to them read to you. If you want your child to read for 20 min. a night then they need to see YOU read each night.  Lessons don’t go far if you limit it to “Do as I say, not as I do.”
  8. Understand today’s pressure- In this day and age kids are under an incredible amount of pressure. WAY more than when we were kids.  Take this fact, have empathy, and breathe before you react.  The way YOU handle trials or adversity will put your child on a path of how to solve problems when things happen to them. Provide a safe haven for them.  It doesn’t matter what type of house you live in as long as it provides love, security, and peace.  Be the kind of person your child is proud of! DON’T embarrass them, especially around their friends. Don’t complain when your child wants friends over because that usually means one of two things…1. He’s proud enough of his home and family that he doesn’t mind showing them to his friends and 2. He’s not out with his friends so that you have to worry….he’s home.  Growing up in this world is tough.  Don’t make it any tougher.
  9. Porch Time– Whether it be a porch, a living room, or at a dinner table, take time to come together on a regular basis. When your child grows up with that expectation, he/she will most likely feel comfortable talking to you about their problems when they’re older.
  10. Pray Over Your Children- Pray for the Lord’s favor so that their lives will be easier. Pray for God’s protection so that they will always come home to you in one piece. Pray for wisdom to know how to be the kind of mom they need and the words to say when you are tired and run down.  Pray for mercy, compassion, and grace in their lives because you know that without those things, we, as moms, would not be able to survive ourselves.  Pray that they will always stay close to the Lord and that as they grow up they will never wander too far from Him… or from home.

 

Parenting…it still remains one of the most difficult, yet most rewarding jobs you could experience.  We may not be Champions of Childhood nor Guardians of the Galaxy, but we are definitely this.  We are moms on a mission and dads on a destination to not raise our children so that everything is perfect, but rather to raise our children to FEEL they are perfectly everything.

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