Being a Good Parent Means Being a Good Role Model

How many times have you caught yourself sounding like your mother? It has been said many times that children are a reflection of their parents and this is true. Children mirror what their parents do, both the good and the bad. Being a good parent means being a good role model for your kids. Consciously and subconsciously your child keeps that memory of how you acted when you dealt with this and how you acted when you dealt with that. Later in life, those actions and even decisions will then be their exact guiding light as to how they will be solving their own problems. A great blog post You Are Their Role Model says:

“Those are “words” or “thoughts” embedded in your subconscious mind and will reveal themselves when a situation triggers the memory of a similar thought, feeling or a situation. The precise words that were used by your mum or dad that were in your subconscious mind will automatically reveal themselves.”

Lesson? Work hard to be a good role model to your children. These rules also apply for mom and dad more than it applies to their kids:

  • Mind your language
  • Be honest
  • Walk your talk
  • Keep your promises
  • Always do what is right and just

Needless to say, amazing children are products of equally amazing parents.

Your Children and The Internet: Pros and Cons

Is your child spending a lot of time on the internet? According to a post from Care2 titled, Children and Technology-Should You Be Concerned:

“Media technology is here to stay and has become a permanent part of our lives. But there is great concern about how it may be affecting our children.”

The use of the internet has concerned a lot of parents all over the world. Studies have been conducted to determine the positive and negative effects of internet use among children. Some of the positive effects of internet use are the following:

  • Research and learning are within reach
  • Makes communication easy
  • Learns about social issues and can easily get involved with it

Some of the negative effects are the following:

  • Decreases emotional and physical connection because of a more solitary form of play
  • Reduces physical form of play thus minimizing physical exercise for children
  • Poor development of social skills

According to experts, the key is to keep the use of the internet in moderation. Family internet filters should also be activated so that you are sure that your children’s surfing time are fun, productive and educational. Your children and the internet can have a good relationship where the web is used as a good tool for learning. It’s up to parents to foster this relationship.

What to Do When a Child Swears

Parents and children sometimes argue about things. Okay, parents and children kind of argue about a lot of things. That’s the nature of the relationship, sometimes you disagree and sometimes you agree. You’ll always love each other though. A lot of parents want to know what to do when a child swears or uses a bad word.  Do you question where did I go wrong or think have I been a bad parent?

Not so fast! The truth is there are a lot of factors that contribute to how your child grows to become an adult in this world. Friends, the media, magazines, video games, sports, coaches, and many other things all affect how your child grows and learns. Having limits on what type of language you allow in your house is a smart move though. Just because your child swears doesn’t mean you have failed as parent. Stay consistent with your rules and stick with it.

For more ideas about what to do when a child swears check out an interesting post I read at Parenting Problem: How to Handle a Child’s Hateful and Disrespectful Speech. Some of the author’s main points included:

  • Build a foundation
  • Maintain consistency
  • Give it time
  • Use clarity
  • Stay calm

These are all techniques that can help you discipline to your child for their poor choice of language. The bottom line is you should build a firm foundation and be consistent.

Why Kids Need Routines: My Opinion on This Topic

Reading this blog post today, “How Important are Routines for Children,” inspired me to share my thoughts on why routines are very important for both parents and children. I believe that kids need routines just as much as parents do. Personally I love having routine in my life, it allows me to be comfortable.

Over the years I have spent raising my kids, I have come to appreciate how enormously beneficial it is for children to have a predictable routine. As opposed to some who think that creating a structure for kids benefits only the parents, I think routines have more positive effects for children. How? Here are three reasons that I believe kids need routines.

1. It helps children feel safe and secure.

2. It helps children form healthy habits–brushing teeth, early sleep time and etc.

3. It helps children gain a sense of responsibility.

Kids need routines — even if they don’t know it. With schedules and routines, children will become increasingly anxious and fearful as they will constantly think of what’s coming next. However, you should remember that there is not a one-size-fits-all routine for kids. There are different suggested routines for each age group and you should structure your schedules to perfectly suit your family. Do what works for you!

Parents Should Know Their Children

I read an article today titled, Overweight child letters toned down so parents do not feel ‘criticised’ and I felt compelled to share it with all of you parents out there. While I agree with the decision of health officials to phrase letters discussing children’s weight in a “non-judgemental and positively phrased” manner, it saddens me that school and health officials still have to remind and advise parents regarding the weight of their children. Parents should know their children and the problems that exist in their lives.

Do we parents really need to be reminded of our children’s health? Aren’t we supposed to be the first one to know that something’s not quite right with our kids? Yes, many of us may not be sure of what we can do to help our children with their weight problems but surely, we must not need to be made aware by others that there is a problem.

If you’re worried that your child may be overweight, make an appointment with your doctor, who can assess eating and activity habits and make suggestions on how to make positive changes. Parents should know their children enough to recognize that some changes need to be made.

Teaching Kids To React Appropriately

If you are the parent of a child who is already able to think on his/her own, I you’ve likely experienced a number of inappropriate, over-the-top reactions from your child regarding simple matters. I understand that the lack in logical and emotional development amongst children makes it hard for them to recognize, understand, and manage how they respond to things, I believe that there are some things parents can do to somehow help them realize the inappropriateness of their behavior.

Today, I read an article titled “Everything Cannot Be a 10” It is all about teaching kids to react appropriately and I think you will find the advice useful. I know that I did!

Parenting a Spirited Child

Raising kids can be quite a challenge already, but when you have a spirited kid in your family things can get even more challenging. What is it actually that makes one child a “spirited child?” Let me quote writer Mary Sheedy Kurcinka for an answer:

“The word that distinguishes spirited children from other children is the word more. They are normal children who…..possess [certain characteristics] with a depth and range not available to other children.”

 –Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, Raising Your Spirited Child

Raising a child whose actions and reactions most seem out of control can bring quite a load to parents. With the right understanding of what goes inside the minds of this group of children, it can be possible to defuse daily struggles and lessen the stress. Here’s a wonderful piece of article about parenting a spirited child that I found to be very enlightening: “Parenting Spirited Children: An Interview with Dr. Jane Nelsen.”

Every Child Is Different: Each Parenting Experience is Unique

I read this article today and I thought that it might be worth sharing: “Don’t decide to have kids based on how you feel about others’ kids.” The author of the article wonderfully stated the very words I want to say to individuals who have formed an impression about being a parent based on their experience with other kids. He said:

“This is not to say that parenthood is for everyone. My point is only that you can’t expect to learn much about how you’ll feel as a parent by watching other people, even close relatives, engage in parenting. Nor can you learn that much by taking care of others’ children.”

While I respect how some people decide to not have children of their own, I am in total agreement of what the author has to say about how it is wrong to think that one’s kids will turn out to be like the kids that they have interacted with or that their life as a parent will be like the life of the other parents they know. Every child is different, and that means every parenting experience will be unique in its own way.

As the author said, “From the outside the life of a parent has many unappealing aspects”, but it really isn’t as bad as it seems (at least for me). I guess some people will never know the real deal about being a parent as the only way to know what it’s really like is to become one. Every child is different, and parenting is the same.

As Our Kids Grow, We Grow Too

“Whether we feel like a traumatised empty-nester or a woman who finally has her life back, our sense of identity shifts: we do not feel like the same person we were a year ago.” I read these words from a blog post titled, “Motherhood: On Growing Up;” and I believe it perfectly sums up what mothers go through as their kids pass from one developmental milestone to another. Don’t you agree? As our kids grow, we grow too. Our role as a parent changes when our children go from high school to college, and college into adulthood.

I have always been a firm believer that the art of great parenting hinges on lifelong learning. As parents, we  should not only watch our kids grow, but we must strive to gracefully grow with them. As our kids go through every stage in life, we must take each stage with them using everything that we have learned and gained from the previous stages–learning new things and stretching our comfort zones just as our kids are. As our kids grow, we grow too because we are parents and that is our job. Being there for our children is the most important thing we can do.

Guide Your Child, Don’t Control

I read a question this morning that made me do some thinking, and I want to share it with you so you could do some thinking too. The question is a title of a blog post and it read: “When Does Parenting Cross the Line From Encouraging to Controlling?

I believe that it is innate for every parent to want their children to achieve something. While our intentions are good, we often end up making our children do something that they really do not want to do. Having our children follow suit to our whims can be satisfying, but this does not have the same effect to our kids. Studies show that kids who feel they have no autonomy are also more likely to be depressed and anxious. It is my belief that you should guide your child, don’t control your child.

We may have more knowledge that our kids, but this does not mean that we need to make all the decisions for them. Our kids are better off if we do not coerce them to do as we please. Our kids need someone to guide to help them make positive life choices, not someone who will control them. So guide your child, don’t control.

Parents should spend time teaching our kids the right values in life and having faith in their capacity to make the right decisions.