Over the last several weeks, I have been talking with parents about parenting and being intentional in the methods that they use to parent their children. I know that some people just mimic the tools and methods that their parents used to raise them, but what worked for them may not necessaily be what’s best for you and your child. Thus, I wanted to cover some ways that we could be intentional parents.
Figure out what works: I was raised on beatings. I was beat for just about any type of defiance. But that method didn’t work for me because I still did what I wanted to. The minute that I knew I could get away with something, I did it. I did NOT want that to be the same for myc hildren so I made the intentional and conscious decision to talk to my children about their actions BEFORE I punished them, and made the punishment fit the crime. For exmaple: my son loves to snack but doesn’t always finish his food. So if we sit to eat and he claims that he doesn’t want to finish his meal, we talk about WHY he doesn’t want to eat, and I let him know that if he doesn’t finish 80% of his food, he can’t have any snacks for the rest of the day. Or if one of the kids hits/pushes/talks mean to one another, we talk about WHY they felt the need to do that particular thing, and their punishment would be maybe they can’t participate in an activity that I am doing at the moment or they can’t get on their iPad for 30 minutes. Hitting my children is not my first option, and I was intentional on making sure that I created other routes to discpline my children.
Create a routine: with everyone having a busy schedule, sometimes it can be difficult to create a steady routine for and with your kids. But it is necessary! Even if your schedule is subjected to only the weekends, this gives your child(ren) the ability to count on you. This is extremely important! It allows us to teach our children that they can rely on us and other adults. Plus, it allows us the ability to spend time with our children. I know that I get out of work early at least 1 day a week, so on that day every week I do something fun with the kids. We cook together, go to the park, watch movies while eating popcorn- something. The kids know that they can count on me to pick them up from school and spend time with them. They look forward to it, and if it doesn’t happen I hear about it. We also have chores in the house that have to be completed on certain days. The kids started off not being too happy about that so I made it fun. We do the chores together, sing songs, play music, and dance around. It teaches the children responsibility and accountability- if their chore isn’t completed then they do not get their iPad. We haven’t has an issue yet.
Teach and reinforce healthy habits: my children have been subject to verbal, mental, and psychological abuse so I made the decision to put them in therapy. I also used that as a way to open uo communication with them about everything. We talk about feelings, how our day went, what bothers us about the other (my daughter had a rather long list of things that mommy does that she doesn’t like) and how to better handle situations when they arise. I was extremely intentional about talking to them about everything, specifically because when I was growing up I bottled everything. By the time I was 21, I was a walking/ticking time bomb. I did not want my children to have to deal with that pressure, anxiety, and stress, so we talk everything out. My daughter will probably tell you that I talk too much. I encourage the children to use different methods in handling issues (solving problems, tying shoes, figuring out why the tv stopped working, etc.). Our motto is “can’t isn’t a word- you CAN do anything, you just have to try”. The kids know that we don’t have to yell to get our point across, we don’t have to be mad if something doesn’t go our way, it’s ok to not always be the center of attention. Oh- and we hug and kiss for everything. I think I did that too much because now the kids won’t stop hugging me. My daughter tried to come into the shower to hug me this morning. Lol. We hug things out, we kiss to show affection, and we encourage each other daily.
Don’t be so hard on yourself: contrary to public misconceptions, there is no rule book to parenting. You do not have to do things the way your parents did, the way your brother/sister does, the way your friends do. Parent the way that works best FOR YOU! One thing that I learned in my 6 years of parenting is that everyone’s opinions don’t mean shit to me. I’m the person that has to be home with my children and deal with the consequences of my parenting style. The tantrums, the yelling, the doors being slammed- they are all directed towards ME. So I learned that only I could figure out how to coach these little people to be good, honest, caring, and well mannered little brats. Do I always get it right? Nope. There are days where I lay down and think “girl- you really could’ve handled that better earlier”. There are days when I know that if I sleep too hard my daughter is going to come into my room and smother me with a pillow while I’m asleep. And there are days when my kids make me feel like I am absolutely crushing this mom thing. But every single day I try to be the best parent and role model to them. And that’s all that matters!
Parenting isn’t easy. It’s never been easy, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. But I am always here for advice and an ear if you need it. And you can go to my podcast to listen to some insights and tips on how to try some new tips on parenting. You can find it here: https://kishnaj.buzzsprout.com or you can look up “Balancing Life & Kids” on any podcasting platform: Apple Podcats, Spotify, iHeart Radio, or Google podcasts.
As always, be legendary QUEENS; be extraordinary QUEENS!