How To Raise Healthy Children

I was listening to a clip of an audible this morning, and it was based on how to show your son that you love him, or something along those lines. I have a son, so obviously I was intrigued. As I started listening to the audible though, I kept thinking that these principles applied to all children, and not just boys. I turned it off and started to think- although I am still learning daily how to be a great mom, I’ve managed to raise healthy and happy children. Here’s how I am doing it….

Be encouraging. My kids know that the words “I can’t” are forbidden in my household. Those words are the equivalent of curse words around me. You can do anything you want, as long as you try. I encourage my kids to try new things like foods, ways to learn, making new friends, different tv shows, anything. If you don’t try, you’ll never succeed. So we try everything- either together or independently. But they know that mommy will always be in their ear telling them that they can do it no matter what.

Be fun! We make up dances to all of the songs in all of the movies that they love to watch. We go to the park and play together. We make watt and crafts in the house. We build using their building blocks. I let them cook with me. We have fun together as a family to help strengthen the bond that we already have.

Be consistent. Today, my daughter said “I love you mom”, and I replied “I love you more”. She followed up with “even when I’m not around you still love me”. I constantly tell her that. I constantly tell her that I’ll always be there for her. I constantly tell her that even when she gets on my nerves I love her to life. I keep all of my promises, I don’t lie to my children, and I am always there for them no matter what. My children’s favorite line to repeat back to me is “mommy loves us no matter what!”. And I’ve worked to show them this truth. I’m consistent.

Be firm. Anyone who knows me knows that I am the biggest push-over softee parent known to man. My kids literally run all over me and I spoil them more than I should. But they also know that mommy doesn’t play with certain things. When I give them that look, or say “what did you just say?!”, they know I mean business. When I say NO, I mean no. Explaining to them why I say no about something can be a task sometimes, but my answer sticks and they know it.

Be a family. I was raised eating dinner at the table with my parents every night. My kids and I eat every meal in the house together. Televisions off, phones down, and we talk. We watch movies together. We do activities together. Sometimes we even pick out each other’s outfits. We do homework together- they work, and I’m on the computer. I teach my children to take care of and look out for each other because they’re all they’ve got.

Most of all, be a mom. My children tell me that their favorite thing about me is that I make them their favorite foods and that I’m always there. Never mind how they steal all my money, my sleep, my food, my bed, and sometimes my boyfriend. Lol. I’m their mom, and the combination of all the aforementioned things help them to trust me to be that to and for them. Don’t get me wrong- there are days where I’m wondering how we still have a standing house or how they haven’t killed each other and me yet. But we manage together; we figure it out together. They make me better and stronger, and I’m hopefully making them smarter, wiser, and better than me.

Until next time; have fun with your children, and tell them Ms. Kishna said that they can do anything they want to, they just have to try!

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo šŸ’‹

To Shack or Not To Shack?

I grew up in a very traditional household. A married family with children. I was raised to believe that if I lived with a man, he should be my husband. I traveled down that road and it didn’t work out too well for me. Now, I’m in a new relationship with a new man and I’m struggling with the decision to move in with him before we get married. Is it the right choice to make?

I obviously have my reasons for pestering Mr. Officer to sell his house and purchase one with me. He works crazy hours, and I think that it would allow us more time to spend with each other- even if it’s just snuggled up under each other sleeping. Not to mention it would save on bills and the kids would have more time to spend with him. The problem is 1- we aren’t married and 2- I am super comfortable living alone! I haven’t lived with anyone (let alone a man) going on almost 3 years. Does my dad count? If not, it’s been almost 5. That’s a really long time on my own. I have my own routine, my own space, and all my closets and drawers to myself. Just thinking about sharing the closet gives me anxiety. And what if he doesn’t put down the toilet seat, or if he takes his shoes off at the door and just leaves it there? What if he’s the type of man who just leaves his clothes strewn all over the house and I have to pick up after him? Oh my goodness- my chest is getting tight and I’m starting to sweat! See? Just thinking about it gives me a panic attack!!!!!! (Okay- now I see where my daughter gets her dramatic side from! šŸ™„)

On the other hand, having a man in the house would help with having constant stability, a role model for the children, easy access to my man, less stress with bills, and allow me the ability to see if we are indeed compatible enough to walk down the aisle. There are definitely pros and cons to the situation, but I am sure my strict carribean parents would have an issue with me shacking up with a man who wasn’t my husband. And, if I am being completely honest, I will always worry in the back of my mind that he’ll get too comfortable with us living together and not make the effort to marry me.

How many people in relationships “shack up” and never get married? Or have children together and push back the marriage idea all together? What is the point of getting married if you already have the person at your beck and call on a daily basis? Or what if you made the decision to wait until after you were married to live with someone, and later found out that they had extreme habits that you are struggling to deal with? Is there a healthy medium (spending the night a few nights a week at your partner’s house)? I mentioned that I come from a strict carribean background, which means I was raised very religious. My culture doesn’t accept living together outside of marriage. Do you watch Black Ink Crew Chicago? If you do, the episode in which Neko introduced his girlfriend Charmaine to his carribean mother, and her reaction when she found out that they were living together- THAT would be my mother’s reaction. Especially because I was already married and had children from that relationship. I wouldn’t only be bringing a man into MY life, but I would be bringing him into my children’s lives as well. How does that factor into the whole “to move in or not to move in” dilemma that many people face? When is it a good time to allow that much access to your children?

If you want MY answer, it’s I don’t know. Lol. If I move in with someone, they must know that marriage is around the corner, and we better be planning something within the upcoming year. Mr. Officer knows that I am expecting marriage from him, so I hope he’s reading this and getting the ring ready to slide onto my pretty little finger. I think that moving in before marriage can be a good thing- to help you determine if you truly are compatible with the person you love, to find out what the bad habits are early, and to see how you interact with one another on a consistent level. The last thing anyone wants is to think you’re marrying one person, and to find out they are someone completely different. I went down that road already and I do not recommend it. You know yourself, and your partner- make the decision that best fits YOU!

As always, be legendary KINGS, be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo