Skip to main content

Parenting advice I should have been told

Parenting advice is everywhere.  Everyone seems to have their opinions on the correct, appropriate, right way to parent.  And, through the few years of my parenting, I've relied on a lot of this information to get through the day.  Some of the advice is good.  Some of it isn't.  Because of this, I've compiled my own list of advice that I wish someone had told me.

1. Only give your children directions when standing on your head.  This way your kids may actually pay attention to you.  Do you have the same problem that your children don't listen to you?  Mine don't.  I've tried saying it quietly, getting down at their level, giving them incentives to complete the directions, drawing diagrams, having bonuses available for completing the directions...I may have even given directions at a volume which could be heard two states over.  But, no matter the manner in which I give directions, I have to remember that my kids are still just kids.  They are going to get distracted, throw temper tantrums because they want to do anything else, or they just won't be able to remember/do what I've asked of them.  Yes, there will be times they actually accomplish the task assigned to them...but that task was probably given by someone other than me, their mom.

2.  Don't make or buy food for your kids.  No, make and buy it for yourself - it's the only way you'll always get your kids to eat the food in front of them because they automatically think that the food in front of you is really for them.  You can try making them kid-friendly food and, yes, sometimes they will eat it without your prodding, begging, and pleading.  Yet, my kids never fail to want the food that is on my plate.  It's become such an issue at times that I will actually prepare myself two plates of food because I know that the first will be eaten by my kids.  I never would have known that my kids LOVE calamari if I hadn't first ordered it and attempted to eat it myself.

3.  Only give birth on a Tuesday morning.  Ok, let's face it.  There are WAY too many pieces of advice about birthing children.  But, when it all comes down to it, it's one of the hardest feats that a woman has to endure.  It doesn't matter if it's with or without drugs; in a hospital, birthing center, or out in the middle of the woods; with a midwife, doctor, or your entire extended family in attendance...and so much more.  You are bringing a child - or children - into this world.  Yes, there are things that may make it easier, less painful, less risky...but it is still bringing a child into this world.  Whether you push it out a tiny hole that really should not expand to that size or if you need to have it surgically removed...IT'S BIRTHING A CHILD! 

4.  Don't expect that your child will be exceptional.  Know that your child already is exceptional.  No matter the circumstances surrounding your child, they have been wonderfully made.  A child doesn't have to grow up to be a rocket scientist, neurosurgeon or President to be noteworthy.  They are already remarkable.

5. Kids will be kids.  Ok, so this is one piece of advice you probably already hear, but I'm not sure it's fully and completely understood.  Your child/children will break things - expensive things.  They will destroy things.  They will hit, scream, pull hair, throw things, cut their own hair (or someone else's), cut the pet's hair, color your walls/furniture/their own face/a sibling's body with marker.  They will climb everything and then jump off of it.  They will make messes.  They will say inappropriate things - at inappropriate times.  They won't always follow a schedule.  They will get sick on days you need them to be well.  They will get mad for no reason then, five minutes later, tell you how much they love you.  They won't sleep until you need them to be awake.  They'll make silly faces when you want them to smile.  They won't sit still.  They will act like monsters...otherwise known as kids.

Being a parent often times means feeling like you aren't doing enough.  But, you are.  You are being a parent.  It's not easy, but you're doing it. Take the advice that you deem worthy for your own situation.  Ignore the rest.  Or, fake it till you make it.  Isn't that what all of us really are doing?  Maybe that's why it doesn't matter the advice you're being given in the latest scientific study or award-winning book.  You'll always find another study, book, or person who can counter it. 

Just be a parent. 


Popular posts from this blog

Leadership Mom: SWOT Analysis

In business, leaders often analyze our Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats through a SWOT analysis.  So, if we are going to look at our role as moms as being the greatest leadership opportunity to us, let's start with analyzing ourselves and our kids.  Here's the SWOT I developed for my family: Family SWOT Analysis As a doting mother, there are hundreds of strengths that I could put up here for my kids.  Their hugs, kisses, bedtime stories and prayers, the fact that they come to me when they're seeking healing from an injury (physical or emotional), the notes and drawings they make for me, their precious hearts when they try to help me or that they've learned how to use the Keurig to bring me coffee in the morning...I could go on and on. Now, here's the part where we get honest with ourselves.  Yes, we love our kids and we love our family (or, hopefully, most of the time), but we are not perfect.  Nor should we be perfect.  As we analyze oursel

I'm no longer telling my kids to have fun

Today, I've made an important realization that is changing the way that I talk to my children.  I am no longer going to tell them to have fun. Don't get me wrong, I desperately desire that my children find joy, happiness and laughter through numerous experiences and adventures.  But, my children's definition of fun and mine have two VERY different meanings. I'll give you an example. My almost four-year-old son loves to destroy things.  He's like his dad - a man who just wants to learn how things work, as well as cause and effect.  So, he takes apart toys, sister's dolls, kitchen appliances, and more.  He tears books because "the story was in the wrong order."  He pushes buttons - both literally and figuratively.  He colors on walls, floors, computer monitors, furniture, carpet and more because he wants to create maps and "building plans" for his Duplos.  This is his idea of fun . Do you see my dilemma?  His idea of fun is so completel

Why can't they just be friends?

Why can't my kids just be friends?  I must ask myself this question hundreds of times during the week.  I thought that having kids relatively close together was going to be great.  They'd have a playmate and an automatic friend.  However, the truth is that - most of the time - they don't get along.  It's not that they're's that they drive each other crazy.  They each want the other one to do what they want to do.  Then, when the other one does what they want, they get mad at them because they wanted to do it themselves. They don't want to share their toys.  Then, they play together only to then get mad and purposefully break the other sibling's toys. They want to get the other one in trouble so that they look like the "good" child and get more rewards.  Then they get upset that the other sibling got them in trouble when they *tattled* on them. At mealtimes, they want to sit where the other one is sitting.  They want the c