Careful: our children are watching
Can parents be truly ready to raise children without imperfections, or do we continue to grow as we love, guide, and respect our children? I believe in the latter.
Many beliefs, thoughts, and actions we have as adults stem from our childhood. As a parent, I try to be mindful of what I do and say in front of my children. As any other parent, some days are more challenging than others. I try to see the more challenging days as an opportunity for growth for all involved. The opportunities for growth are then teachable moments. I believe that every child has the right to be happy, healthy, and have fun!
Given all of the recommendations by pediatric doctors, American Heart Association, and the American Pediatric Association, and others, I still struggle with certain aspects of parenting at times.
1. How much TV should our children watch? What shows or movies are best to watch given all of the different children shows.
2. When to stop children from taking naps especially when we are out of our routine i.e vacation, on a field trip, etc. We have a 2 and 5 year old, and if it was left to them, they would not nap and just fall out when they were beyond exhaustion….Yes..trust me. I know. They seriously need naps. Their attitudes are so much better when they have had a couple of hours of nap.
3. Being creative with healthy foods and helping our children to make healthy choices. I am very interested in using different herbs and seasonings. I am interested in making homemade hummus and have the recipe from one of my favorite chefs. I recently picked up a hummus mixture from our local Kroger to have something I can compare to when I make my own.
4. Promoting independence in our children and not just bitter about their responsibilities. There is always a way to get things done, and how my husband and I achieve the goal with our children being proud of themselves instead of tainted with bitter feelings and feeling as though they were just made to do something.
So, here are some steps/concepts I try to incorporate:
1. Continue to be abreast of guidelines recommended by trusted organizations. For some organizations, I have signed up for their newsletters and alerts.
2. Trust my gut/intuition. Be creative, open to suggestions, and be willing to step out of my comfort zone. Each child is unique. therefore, may respond differently. We have this internal barometer/guide/Holy Spirit that helps us make right decisions for ourselves and our loved ones.
2. We do not need to continue the past. If it did not work for you as a child, then there is no need to pass it on to your children or other loved ones. We were not able. Do you want to pass on love or hate? It is a choice.
3. Keep mindful of our interactions with others. Choose truth and words that will lift up and are positive. Keep your emotions in check. Even when you think your son or daughter is so involved in their video game, television, or some other distraction, they are still curious and may be listening to every word and watching every action. My children are so curious, and I find them modeling their parent’s behavior. We set the standards for our children that feed into their actions, beliefs, and thoughts as children.
4. Regularly check in with your children-thoughts, actions, beliefs to see how they are interpreting things and are their actions appropriate. When we regularly monitor our child’s behavior, we are able to modify and mold appropriate behavior, starting with ourselves first if need to.
I am enjoying the unfolding of who I am. I believe we are all on the journey to know our truths and to help others do the same.