I saw a post on a social media thread where someone asked, “what bad traits of yours do your children have?”
My response was: None. My kids have grown up to be the kind of people I wanted to be.
The person who asked the question responded, “Lucky you.”
Luck has nothing to do with it. Yes, I understand the whole nature versus nurture argument. Let’s put that aside for a moment.
We are all born with certain personality traits. We all learn certain personality and behavior traits. It isn’t a free for all. If you’re a hot mess it doesn’t mean your kids will be hot messes. If you made terrible mistakes in your youth it doesn’t mean your children will. If you hated your parents it doesn’t mean your kids will hate you.
Like I said, luck had nothing to do with the way my kids turned out. The only lucky thing they got was good looks.
What makes a successful parent? It is easy.
- Learn from your mistakes and teach your kids by it.
- Talk to your kids from the day they are born. EVERY SINGLE DAY. Don’t take grunts and one word answers to questions. Engage with your children.
- Show interest in your kids. I know you’re tired. I know you’ve been working. I know. I’ve been there. Show interest in them. By showing interest you will also be helping yourself. Think about it.
- Remember that your children are going to grow up to become adults. Prepare them for the adult world. Have those hard conversations.
- Trust your children. Give them reason to trust you as well.
- Teach them the difference between right and wrong. Not for any BS religious reason but because it is the right to do.
- Teach your children compassion and empathy.
- Teach them that yes indeed, they ARE judged by the company they keep.
- Teach them to be proud of who they are.
- Teach them to be curious and that learning is something they will do their entire lives.
- Teach them to be polite and to never be rude, especially when they are a guest. If they are pleasant they will always be invited back. Be better away from home than you ever are at home.
- Love them and put them first. Always put your children first. They need you. They depend on you. They love you. They can’t function without you. They need your guidance, your thoughts, your ear. Most of all they need your hugs.
Every child is different. Some are loud. Some are quite. Some seem too perfect (that can be scary) and some seem to make a mess of everything. Every family is also different, from the huge families with a dozen children to the family with a single child – and each child is unique. Every child has the potential to grow up and be happy and successful.
The following paragraphs are more or less what I put in my list but read it again.
Parenting – Why it is important and what I believe and practice.
My main message is for parents to talk not just at or to their kids but WITH their kids. Also to give your children the safety to be their own little personalities (or big personalities) and to be kids, but also give them the freedom to grow and fly. I am a strong advocate against over protecting children. I’m a mother wolf and yes, I’ll protect to the death, but I don’t want to be responsible for an immature, over sensitive, ignorant adult one of these days. Children, in my opinion, need their parents forever, but they also need to know about the world they’ll live most of their lives in, especially teens. They also need to know the harsh facts about sex, drugs and the company they keep. Our reputations and the choices we make as teens can stay with us our entire lives. Teens need to know this.
I absolutely love teens. They’re funny and wise and silly and so loving in ways that most people don’t even see. Just talk to one, or better yet, try to remember a million years ago in another time, another world, another planet, when you were a teen.
But I’m not going to preach those ideas in every single blog post. Through my tales about my kids, my husband, my brothers and my friends, I try to get across my messages about relationships, love, consequences, and just life. And if I can get someone to think or laugh I feel like I’ve done something. If I can get anyone to laugh I’m happy.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman