There exist many cliches about writing. My favourite is “if you want to write, then write today”. Another one I see often is “write about what you know”. Today I will do a precis version of what I know about being a parent. I admit that I could have done a better job (as a parent) on reflection.
Are you ready?
- If you have children, make sure they always know you love them unconditionally.
- Spend quality time with your children
- Create happy times that will become happy memories (not just for the kids but for all you encounter)
- Feed them properly – meat and vegies and lots of fruit. Don’t let them live on two minute noodles!
- Teach them how to cook something more adventurous than spaghetti bolognaise.
- Do your best to avoid having to choose between your children and your partner/husband. Partners can come and go but your children are your children for ever. (apologies to husbands and partners here – I hope you understand what I mean)
- Make sure they have nice clothes to wear – especially on the day the photographer is at school. Those photos will be around a while to remind you if you forget!
- Accept that sometimes you won’t be able to figure out what is going on in their heads (let’s make that most of the time)
- If you move house, remember to tell them.
- Don’t forget your child is asleep in your friend’s bedroom. They will always remind you of the time you went home without them – oops!
- Maintain contact with the extended families of both parents. Even though they may be a long way away, today it is so easy to keep in touch via Facebook and emails etc. Do this even if there is a split up in the family. They are still your kids’ uncles, aunties and cousins.
- Try to teach them resilience – it is hard to do if you don’t feel that way yourself. Maybe learn it first and then teach them – it is a really important characteristic for a successful life.
- Encourage them to love nature. This is a precious gift and to be greatly valued throughout life.
- Accept that they carry your genes and there is nothing you can do about it – sometimes it can be something to celebrate!
- Encourage them to have diverse friends from different cultures as they can learn a lot from others’ differences.
- Encourage them to have some interest in politics and to believe that they are not powerless to the system and CAN make a difference.
- Teach them to be nice to each other. I used to say ” a lot of people in the world who may be unkind to your brother, it is your job to be kind to him” – something along those lines.
- Remember they are more likely to copy what you do and not what you say.
- Encourage a sense of adventure and curiosity.
- And then…make sure they always know you love them unconditionally.
Until next time
- Teaching Kids the Importance of Gratitude (everydayhealth.com)
- Chores | Information Center | Education.com (education.com)