Many people have asked me what I have done to make my children be well adjusted.
I can only tell you how I handled certain situations. The rest is up to the child.
It’s not enough just to be a parent by giving birth. We have to decide how we want to parent, what we want to teach our children and why.
I decided to give my children the things that I would have liked as a child. Nurturing, listening, gentleness. Respect, consistency.
We learn to be parent by explaining the best ways to help our children become the best person they can be. For example, “do, get.” If you do this, you will get that. If you do chores and save money, you will get a new bicycle. If you hit your sister, you will get a time out.
I cringe when I hear parents saying, “You’re bad!” Or the many versions of that phrase. Bad is an adjective that describes what we do and not who we are. Even that is open to interpretation. What is bad to you may not be bad to someone else. Mostly, when parents call children “bad” they are referring to a behavior that is NORMAL for a child!
When things go wrong and the kids are acting up, look at yourself. Are you cranky? Have you been extra busy lately? Children tell us in the only way they know how because there skills are not yet developed. They want attention, positive or negative. Stop, look into their eyes. Give them a hug. Read to them for 15 minutes. This goes a l o n g way to filling their needs and, guess what? Being less needy means less whining and negative attention-getting behavior!
Respect your children’s feelings. The hardest thing to do is listen to their long tales, but doing so you are allowing them to express their feelings.
I gave my children to tools I believed they need to grown up to be healthy, independent adults. What they do after that is up to them!