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As parents we all strive to be the best we can be. We want to provide for our children and give them the best possible future we can give them. If that means putting them in the best schools, disciplining them when it hurts us more than them or simply even guiding them through life. Whatever it is, parenting is hard. The crazy thing about parenting is that there is no book, no right or wrong way of doing things because everyone is different. No two children are the same. You have a child with different needs, wants and learning styles than yours, and as parents it’s our job to figure out what those things are.
However, I must say that our marriage or relationship is the backbone to parenting. So many of us fail to realize this. We didn’t have a child on our own. It took two, so it takes two to raise a child as well. Understand this. Even if one parent is not involved in that child’s life, that child still understands that it took two people, and one is just out of the picture. So even as small as a child, they understand that it was a partnership, regardless of the relationship.
With all that being said, we all experienced either a good or bad relationship with our parents. Come to think about it, that has influenced YOU to become the wife, husband, mother and father you are today. It’s amazing how life always repeats itself. However, you have the power to change that if you’d like as well.
That’s why I am going to share with you my top 10 parenting goals that will not only strengthen your marriage but strengthen your parenting skills together! As parents, you will look like such a strong team behind your children and that has always been a dream of mine. So here it goes…
Your love is the first “love story” your children get to witness. Your daily acts towards one another is something that we don’t pay attention to anymore but your children subconscious does. The way we treat our spouse is the way your children will either treat theirs or get treated. Now ask yourself, how would you want your daughter or son to be treated by their wife or husband? Whatever answer you chose, is how you need to act now with your spouse. You set that bar, you give that example!
I’m sure many parents do. However, I am also very sure that most of those parents only hug and kiss their children goodbye, see you later. Am I right? If so, that is not the hug and kiss I am referring too. I am talking about the hug and kiss just to give you a hug and kiss because I just love you so much type of hug and kiss. Get my drift? Two totally different meanings and feelings. We want our children to know and most importantly feel the unconditional love. Sure, life gets in the way, stress is all in the air, we try not to mention anything about anything because they are too young to understand. However, they are never to young to feel the tension. So if they can feel tension, they can feel your love even more.
I have seen ever parent with a phone, including myself do this! It’s horrifying! It’s almost like a scary movie that has technology running our lives. If I ask you right now what is the most important thing in your life. I’m sure you would say your children, not your phone. However, in real actual life, it is not that way. When your child is wanting your attention, asking you a question, trying to show you something, we don’t even give them a second of our time, of our attention or affection to just look up and see their face. How sad is that? Not only do we make them feel like crap I’m sure, but we are teaching them so many different bad things when we do this.
What just came to mind is when I use to work for this one doctor, she would ask me a question and as I was answering her, she would be zoned in her phone. Then having the audacity to say, “huh? Sorry I was reading this.” I felt furious! Unimportant! and just plain ol’ disrespected. To say that I do that to my children, I just want to punch myself in the throat. Never again. I am taking a vow now. Who’s with me?! My children will ALWAYS be more important than technology or social media!
I’m going to make this very simple and put it in a way that will make you take a step back and realize. You have 24 hours in one day. That is equal to 1,440 minutes a day. So you’re telling me that you can’t give your children a simple 20 minutes from the 1,440 minutes you have on a daily? What is life then?
Play a board game with them, talk to them, get to know your children and what they’re thinking or even sit down and eat with them from time to time. Your children will appreciate and love it and so will you!
We have all done this at one point or another. Yelling and arguing with your spouse in front of your children is something we need to be more conscious about. We scare our children with many different types of fears. Fear of an escalated event, fear of possible divorce and just fear of all the yelling. Imagine being a child, and listening to both of your parents yell and argue like no tomorrow. How would that make you feel as a child? Not just that, but you feel the tension. Do you know that energy you both have created is now transferred to your children? What do you think children do to release that tension? They take it out on others or themselves. Every action has a chain of reaction.
After a couple argues, it takes several minutes, hours or even days to make up and talk. However, just keep in mind that your little ones are watching. Whenever you just can’t hold in your emotions in front of your children, then at least make sure you can make up with your spouse in front of your children to reassure your children as well as comforting them. Not only does that benefit them emotionally, but you are also teaching them that it is okay to surrender or apologize when you are in the wrong.
Does that make sense? This happens all the time and many arguments arise because of this one thing here. I’ll give you a scenario.
Kid: Mom can I have some candy?
Mom: Wait until after your lunch.
Dad: Oh just give the boy a piece of candy. It won’t ruin his appetite.
Do you see how this leads to an argument? Not only does it make mommy and daddy argue, but you are teaching your children a few different things. 1-all they have to do is turn you guys against each other to get what they want. 2-daddy has authority over mommy or mommy has authority over daddy. 3-parents are not on the same page when it comes to raising kids. 4-one parent is making the other parent “look bad” NEVER DO THIS! Some parents don’t even realize they do this because they are so outspoken, but you need to bring this to their attention.
This is probably one of the hardest things for me. I grew up around yelling, my fiancé grew up around yelling and it’s just natural for us to yell when we are upset. It’s actually a healthy thing because you let out your emotions instead of keeping them bottled in. However, there is no excuse. Even though I don’t yell AT my children, I just yell period, in general. I sound crazy right now. Anyways, I understand what yelling does. When I became aware of the damages that yelling does, I started to pay attention to how I felt when my fiancé yelled. I did not feel good at all. I felt more tense, more angry and it just didn’t make anything better. So I couldn’t imagine the children. How they must feel when we yell? So since then, I have stopped yelling and it is amazing what the results look like. My fiancé has gotten a lot better, and when he starts yelling I remind him to take it down a notch.
After hearing yelling your whole life, then yelling yourself because that is all you know. It’s a process to eliminate that bad habit. You first need to realize that you’re doing so, then just become more aware of it. There will be times where you catch yourself in the middle of yelling and all you need to do is take a deep breath in and let it out and start over again.
I love doing this! Especially now that my oldest son is five, he is at that age where he is very curious about everything. He’s always asking questions and I love trying to figure out a way to explain things to him to where he could understand. However, anywhere we are, whoever we are with, I always try to point something out to him to teach him a little something. Whether it is pointing out the litter on the grass and explaining why that is so bad to the importance of working to make money, the characteristics of people and everything in between. This is also a way you become their best friend.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a “meeting” that was just a name that came to mind. But having a family morning routine is key in a successful and happy family. Your morning routine can be different from others and that is the beauty of it. I love waking up, saying thank you for the many blessings I have, practice my own affirmations, wake up the kiddos and do a 20 minute yoga session with them. During that time I ask them to say a few things they are grateful for and practice their own affirmations. After that, I ask to see what they have going on for the day, see if there is anything I can do to help with that and that is pretty much it. Very simple, yet very impactful. You take care of yourself, you envision what you want out of the day, you take time to relax and get yourself together before you start with your day. Also, you are connecting with your family in a much deeper level.
Parents, you can do this! Like I said earlier, parenting is not easy. We are raising little humans to become the best humans in the world. HOW can that be easy?
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