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Being a parent can be so incredibly challenging at times.
Parents are the biggest influencers and make the biggest impact on their children whether they think they do or not.
My boys are older, both being teens and I often have to bite my tongue whenever we are at odds.
I am super proud of my boys and people will often comment on how polite they are and what great kids they are and I can only praise God because my husband and I follow His precepts in bringing up our kids. That being said, there are times when I want to wring their neck. Not literally, it’s just a saying.
When my children were growing up, I was often busy going to school. I only worked part-time at night while my husband worked during the day so one of us has always been with our kids and I am grateful for that.
I’d like to share with you two things I wish I knew then but only learned as they got older.
1. Not Making A Big Deal Of Messes
This one is a big one for me and it took a long time to let go and not have everything be perfect. I was an only child (until I turned 14 and met a family I didn’t know I had, long story), so I was used to things being a certain way, specifically my way.
My oldest child is a special needs child who has taught me more patience than I ever thought I had. There has been no shortage of messes with him in this journey. I used to be very hard on him because I felt as though I was always cleaning up something.
But if I had only known at the time what sort of impact this makes on children, I would have changed my ways.
Honestly, I’m pretty sure a good portion of my behavior stems from my upbringing (another long story) but when a child is constantly being made to feel bad about a mess or accident, it makes them feel very small and that they are never good enough.
I know how this feels first hand. Once I realized this, I completely changed my reactions to messes and accidents that my kids made.
I didn’t want them growing up thinking they are not good enough or all they are is someone who screws up all the time. Now, I can’t go and undo any damage I may have done but I can definitely reassure them now that they are wonderful and amazing individuals.
If you are super busy with tasks at home and your child comes to you asking to play with something, I encourage you to take some time and set up a play area.
Whether it’s play dough or Legos, hot wheels or a tea party, take a few minutes to set an area up where your child can freely play and not worry about making a mess.
Please trust me in this, I know you’re busy and this may seem like more work but doing this ahead of time so you can focus on what you need to do will save you tons of time in the long run.
2. Spend Time Now
Well, now that I’ve shared with you one of my worst parenting mistakes, it’s time to share the second biggest piece of advice I ever received and that’s regarding spending time with your kids. When our children are little, we do those fun things like taking them to the pumpkin patch and giving them birthday parties.
These things are certainly important and can be considered quality time but how much time do you spend just being with them?
Do you really know what makes them tick? Can you name their five favorite things? When was the last time you took a walk with them?
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Children are fascinating, especially our own but we get so busy with life that we often take for granted just sitting with our kids on the front porch or taking them on a picnic. Kids don’t need more stuff, they need more you.
I am sharing this with you because much of my children’s lives I spent going to school, trying to obtain a degree that I really didn’t need.
I was always there for my kids but I always had so much homework to do and time just passed. Now they’re teenagers and I wonder where the time has gone. I feel as though I missed out on so much time getting to know them as people and now that I’m finished with school, we have so much fun together.
I don’t believe my kids have suffered in any way but as a mom who loves her boys to the moon and back, I encourage you to really think about taking on new things.
Is it that important? Is it going to leave you with any doubts? Will it really fulfill you?
Maybe, instead, take a class with your child. Teach them a new skill. Read the Bible with them. It’s our job to teach them about the Lord as well as prepare them for this world the best we can.
I hope you’ve been encouraged and inspired by this post. It was real and honest and no matter how old your children are, it’s never too late to make some changes.
If they are little, make a special craft with them or sit outside and stare at the stars. If they are older, start asking them about their favorite classes or what motivates them. Feed into them and you’ll be filled with joy at the way they love you back.
It’s never too late to make our kids feel special and important. If you have ideas to share, please feel free to comment below.
Have a blessed day!