Raising respectful kids begins at home with the safe boundaries we create and reinforce as their parents. Daily, we teach our kids to respect others and understand consequences by our very own example. (don’t worry – you’re doing great!!!)
You’re allowing space for growth, confidence, and independence in our children. And we both know, creating and reinforcing boundaries is giving our kids a place to make mistakes. No one has perfect kids! Or perfect parents! Just give warmth of our reassurance and love to help hold our kids up so they can mature into young men and women who benefit society.
Parents: This takes a lot of WORK!
But, you are equipped to do it!
I’m a mom who learns from wrecks and big time mistakes. You too? Well – let’s simplify the system. The feel of the family. To navigate the push and pull of society, with the tugs of your heart – and ultimately make life easier.
So… these are boundaries you set for yourself!
Tips to make your parent life easier:
1. Kitchen closed. After supper dishes are washed and the counters cleaned, the kitchen is closed. The lights are off. Cabinets are shut. The pantry is off limits. And stomachs will survive. Sometimes our dietary needs prohibit this rule from happening, but that is the exception. Establishing respect in our very own kitchen, teaches our children to appreciate the exception. Because, of course, there are random nights for malts or hot fudge sundaes.
2. Don’t rescue the forgotten backpack. Your kids forget their backpack? Their basketball shoes? A sheet of homework? Try saying: Oh boy. What a bummer. Is this your “semester rescue call?” Establish a rescue plan for the things your kids leave behind. Our kids know Mom will rescue them once a semester. Create a “rescue” boundary that works for you. You can chase after your kids with the sweatshirt they left on the floor of their room once a semester – or you can constantly chase after your kids. Letting them feel the natural consequences of their decision sticks. Forgotten sweatshirt? They won’t freeze. A homework paper left behind? They’ll never forget that failing grade. It doesn’t mean they’ve failed – it only means they’ve learned from their mistakes! And, tomorrow they will choose preparation and organization. It’s such an important skill to learn as a child!
3. Surviving my child’s birthday! For some reason, celebrating the birth of our child can be overshadowed by stress, logistic nightmares, and a party etiquette fiasco! Here’s what we do to survive: One big party. Yes, one party can include their entire class – their big circle of friends – or their entire neighborhood. Do it once. And keep it short. Let them eat their birthday cake without forks! But, keep them well fed throughout the party. And ask a friend to help contain the kiddosyou’ll thank yourself later. Make it memorable for everyone! Set boundaries: personal devices stay home – its one less thing to find at the end of the party, too!
4. Sleepover survival: If the kids don’t sleep, mom can’t sleep – and MOMs need sleep! I know you agree. So, here are the secrets of the best, most amazing, unforgettable, sleepover our kids ever had! Before the party started, I covered our clocks. When the kids arrived, they tossed their electronics in a basket. We gave each kid two packs of football cards. And for almost an hour, they were entertained trading cards! They weren’t all huge NFL fans, but they were bonded anyhow. We had men snacks and pizza. For many of the kids, it was their first sleepover – so whenever they became weepy or scared, I stuffed Kleenix in their pockets, and hugged and squeezed, and they found bravery in themselves. When the kids asked what time it was, I often distracted them from an hour – and refocused them into the fun they had! It was dark – and they didn’t know much better – so I steered them into thinking it was later than they thought. They played air guitars, ice bucket drums, and tooted horns. The later they get – the more wild, right! So… I always helped them believe it was much later than it really was! They packed the night with buddy memories with lip sync and actions – Youtube videos, and trading cards. And… everyone jelled. And ultimately, mom survived the sleepover! Mom WON! Because they thought it was 2:00 A.M., and everyone was tucked in by 10:30 P.M.! Victorious. For everyone.
So… give them a try! Or skew them to work for you! I only want to create a spark in your heart – and inspire you with the confidence you need to do this parenting job the very, very best you can do! You have what it takes! Trust your heart! Follow your intuition! And share your secrets of survival!
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