Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Parenting Stuff, Idea 1: Relationships

Idea 1: Relationships are the most important thing.
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If you believe in the afterlife, and I do, then I assume you believe you will have loved ones around you there. Therefore, all you take with you when you die are your experiences, your memories and your relationships. Relationships are based on love, so start there. Love your children. 

  • It will not spoil a child of any age to be frequently kissed, hugged, patted on the back, nuzzled, snuggled, read to and talked to. In fact, it this the best part of parenting!
  • Look your children in the eye when they are talking to you. Teach them how to listen by doing a good job yourself. This may require you to unplug, detach yourself from your phone, computer, iPad or TV. You will be greatly rewarded if you give your kids a chance to just talk, starting when they are young. 
    • You don't have to always prove that you know more than your children. You don't always have to share your opinion. You don't always even have to respond beyond a smile, a "that's so cool!" or a "tell me more". Older kids and teens won't talk to you if all you do is harass or correct them, so just listen
  • Do stuff together. Whether it's weeding the garden, taking the dog for a walk or playing, kids crave physical activity (even video game zombies crave it, I promise) and if YOU are doing it with them, they will want to do it even more.
  • Don't be unreasonable with your kids. Remember who they are and treat them how you would want them to be treated by any other adult.
  • Laugh. A lot. If you can learn to laugh at yourself, at frustration, at drama and difficulty, you will teach your children to do the same, and the world could certainly use a few less stressed, victim-mentality-focused people!

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