Of course no one should have to tell us, as parents, what we should be doing every day. We should already know this right? Well, we should, yes and most of it seems like common sense but trust me, it's not really and it wasn't until my sons got older that I realized I should have done some things slightly different while they were growing up. Talking amongst other parents, I'm not too far off. There is a slew of things they wished they would have done differently.
Hopefully we all already know what we shouldn't be doing daily like ignoring your kids, talking down to them, harming them in any way, etc., but what about the stuff that we should be doing. Here it is.
Children won't often tell us how they are feeling and if you can remember as a teenager feeling low when all we needed was someone to tell us how great we are. Tell your child they are awesome, every day, no matter what their mood, but especially if you see they are feeling low. That's when they need to hear it the most.
2. I love you.
Sounds like a no brainer, right, but sometimes we get so caught up in the busy-ness of life, as do our kids, we simply forget to exchange these words. It's important to express these 3 simple words daily. Remember children have lots of feelings of self doubt and anxiety. Forgetting to tell them this may result in them thinking you are mad at them or they did something wrong. Avoid them feeling like that.
3. Be kind to people.
Now I get that our very young children should be leery of strangers but as a general rule, there is no reason why our children can't be kind to people. Independent of safety being the first rule of thumb, kindness is in small supply and the world needs more of it. Our children are the future of the world. Don't forget that.
4. That's up to you.
Our children are going to seek our advice about many things throughout their entire life but they must know that no matter what, the final decision about things should be theirs. How do they feel about something? Does it make them feel happy or sad, anxious or scared? They need to listen to their feelings, their intuition, and be bold enough to take chances.
5. Tell me about your day.
They like to know that someone cares enough to hear about how their day went. No matter what age your child is, you should ask them, even the hormonal teenager who really doesn't want to talk to you at all. At the end of the day, they will remember you cared enough to ask and that's all that matters.
6. Manners manners, please.
Never stop reminding them of their manners. Especially when they hit the teenage years. Saying please and thank you will definitely take them a lot further in life in their adult years than if they forget their manners altogether. Manners equals respect. Respect equals a brighter future for all of us.
7. Be grateful.
Gratitude is for everyone, not just kids but if you get them start ed a young age, they won't forget to practice it as they get older. It will be as habitual as brushing their teeth. When they are grateful for all the things they have, they will feel less entitled and will surely be kinder and more generous to those who don't have as much as they do.
8. What would you like to_____.
Here you can obviously fill in the blank but it could be what they want for breakfast, lunch or dinner, what movie do they want to see, what game would they like to play. Make it so that they are making decision on their own, trusting their decisions and also feel like their voice and opinion matters too.
As our children grow up, and eventually lead the world, they need to know that they are important part of society and how we treat them and talk to them will have a direct impact on how they are in the future. We are the role models for them. Be a good one and show your children the things you wish someone would have shown or taught you.