Parenting: What I practice and believe in

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.

  1. Learn from your mistakes and teach your kids by it.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Remember that your children are going to grow up to become adults. Prepare them for the adult world. Have those hard conversations.
  5. Trust your children. Give them reason to trust you as well.
  6. Teach them the difference between right and wrong. Not for any BS religious reason but because it is the right to do.
  7. Teach your children compassion and empathy.
  8. Teach them that yes indeed, they ARE judged by the company they keep.
  9. Teach them to be proud of who they are.
  10. Teach them to be curious and that learning is something they will do their entire lives.
  11. 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.
  12. 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

Musings on Parenting – My heart and soul as a parent

We’ve been having a lot of Halloween fun with “Halloween Hotties” and other spooky and silly Vampire fun but today I want to get back to my core as a parent. Below is my famous list of what I feel, and now know is my ultimate parenting advice and musings. It is what I believe and what I practice. It is my heart and soul as a parent.

Juliette’s Ultimate Musings on Parenting (for Vampires, Werewolves and ALL Regular Humans)

I’m an artist to the core of my soul.  I’m a curious collector of oddities (both objects, experiences and people). I read. I discover. I write. I design. I act. I live as I wish (well, I pretend I do). And I use the word “I” a lot, or at least I used to.

Then I met a remarkable man who thought I was funny and a bit odd and a lot sexy and smart and ….I liked him a lot too because he was smart and sexy.

And that would have been fine to have stayed that way…

Until we had a child.

I never knew I could love as much as this. Both the man and the child. I never knew we could love as much.

I never knew what an amazing journey parenthood would be.

When you bring a baby or child home, whether you give birth to it or adopt it or foster or live with any child, you bring home the entire universe in a kid sized package. And something you’re never told…You NEVER know who you’re bringing home with you.

Your child is not your clone. Your child is someone with their own will and their own view – right from the start.

Throw out the baby and child care books because this little person is going to prove they’re ALL WRONG. And you’ll have more fun than you EVER imagined.

So what does a woman who muses on mom stuff teach the children in her life? 

  • Teach your children, no matter who your children are, or will become, to treasure acts of kindness.
  • Teach them that if they speak rudely to another child, they will forget it in a minute, and the other child will remember it for a lifetime.
  • Teach them the value of life and the value of love.
  • Teach them not to lie. Lies are worse than snakes – they always come back and bite you in the butt and they contain poison.
  • Teach them to learn from their mistakes.
  • Teach them to learn from the mistakes of others (if more people did that there WOULD be world peace).
  • Teach them that they ARE going to make mistakes – big ones – and that you’re always there for them (you’d better be there for them).
  • Teach them to be tough. Tough mentally and physically. We’re not living in la la land folks.
  • Tech them to love learning. Learning is a lifelong process. Like my dad used to say “If you stop learning you might as well be dead.” 
  • Teach them to play, and to keep playing even as adults.
  • Teach them to love and respect nature for it will always be a joy and they will always be amazed.
  • Teach them that it is their responsibility to take care of their environment.
  • Teach them that ignorance is a vice and knowledge is a virtue. Knowledge is power.
  • Teach them the value of friendship. Friendship is not a contest. Friendship is a lazy ride on a raft down the river. You laugh, you rescue each other, you talk until the stars come out, and you remember that trip forever, not expecting anything but to be able to be yourself, without judgement, and to not have the pressure of  judging your friend.
  • Teach them life without a sense of humor is, well, a humorless life. Who needs that?
  • Teach them to tell someone else something good about themselves every single day and MEAN IT. While your at it don’t forget hugs.
  • Teach them to smile (but don’t show your fangs). Smile a lot.
  • Teach them to pay if forward.
  • Teach them that their opinions are valued.
  • Teach them to have an active imagination – especially as they grow older.
  • Teach them that READING will take them everywhere. People who read are interesting. People who don’t…well, we need to encourage them to start.
  • Teach them that people who aren’t like them are interesting. If we were all the same the world would be a very boring place.
  • And last of all teach them that they are ultimately responsible for their own actions and the consequences. Period. No exceptions. None. That’s it. 

Hugs and thanks for visiting.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

My mom blogs about vampires

My mom blogs about vampires

Let’s forget about people we don’t really like and be politically incorrect and concentrate on our kids

Let’s forget about people we don’t really like and be politically incorrect and concentrate on our kids.

I’m worried about having my children grow up in a world where the following doesn’t matter:

Education.

We might say it matters but then I see articles on the Internet on major news sites saying that High School graduates are below the poverty line so obviously it doesn’t matter if anyone graduates from high school. College is also at risk, especially those who graduate in liberal arts.

Listen up folks, it isn’t all just about jobs, a lot of education is related to the quality of life. If your mind and spirit stop being active then your mind and spirit will die – that includes the continuous education (be it school, reading, exploring, discovering, trying new things…).

College isn’t for all kids. So where are the vocational programs and trade schools of the past? We need those programs BACK. Not lame bandages but real programs for real kids.

Parenting:

Kids need two parents. If one or more of said parents are selfish asswipes I’ll make an exception. Kids don’t need to be forced to be with horrible people just because said horrible person wants to get child support or control or just want to be a shit head. 

If you don’t plan to be involved with the lives of your kids don’t have children (as in use birth control and self control).

Don’t have kids as an excuse not to work (hey, forget the dream of being a stay at home mom because if he dies or loses his job or leaves you for a more attractive coworker you’re screwed).

ALL CHILDREN need INVOLVED parents.

 

  • Talk to your kids.
  • Know what they’re doing
  • Don’t bring your drama into their lives. If you have kids you don’t have the luxury of having your own petty drama.
  • Make them feel safe.
  • Listen to them.
  • Listen to them.
  • LISTEN TO YOUR CHILDREN. You need to hear what they have to say and not pass judgment.
  • Let them fly – as in don’t smother them.
  • Love them. Hug them. Tell them you love them.
  • Tell them that you’re proud of them.
  • And let them know when they’re going the wrong direction (but in an adult way – remember YOU are the adult)
  • Put your kids FIRST (not your own selfish need to always have a boyfriend, a girlfriend, your abusive spouse, a beer, your party friends, your drugs or whatever your current self-centered addiction is).

 

Now I’m sure I’ve pissed off a few people with my comments but those folks can go read the politically correct beige and sugar cookie blog.

Having a child is a HUGE responsibility yet people give more thought about what kind of dog they’re going to get or what movie they’re going to see on Friday. Excuse me, talk about caring about human life?!?!?!?! These folks don’t give a crap about it.

And don’t think parenting means having matching DNA. Parents are the FOREVER people in a child’s life.  Family means people who love you – blood does not matter – it’s all about love and caring. It just pisses me off when kids have to spend time with parents who don’t give a crap about them when they should be with the people who DO love them and care about them.

Success:

Never apologize for success. Never apologize for having great kids. Never apologize for having a great job. Never apologize for having a nice home. Never apologize for being responsible. Never apologize for being good at anything. Never apologize for loving your husband because he is so good with your kids.

And success isn’t about money. It is about being good at something. It is about working hard. Success is about being proud of what you do and how you live your life.

You can be a success at taking care of stray cats. You can work at a sport. You can have a hobby, even if it just drawing with a pencil on paper or growing marigolds in a big pot every summer (that actually bloom).  You can be the best teacher because your students go on to succeed. You can be the best supervisor because your employees go on to get their dream jobs and that makes you happy because you gave them the self-confidence and skills it took to do it.

If you’re happy for the success of others than that makes you a success.

Never apologize for hard work.

  • Education Matters
  • Good Parenting Matters
  • Success Matters
  • Hard Work Matters

And last of all:

Giving back matters.

A friend of mine recently said “I’m doing ok, but I want to be insanely wealthy so I can give most of it away.” He wants to start a scholarship program for foster kids.  What is your cause? My friend is taking small steps right now. We all can take small steps to help others and by doing that one day we’ll all be on top of that mountain.