I have been thinking about parenting lately- well- all the time. So, I have decided to make a list of things I plan on doing NOW and down the road as a parent. Also, this is probably good for me to actually write it down and have people read it- because then I will be more likely to stick to my guns down the road. (Ben may come back here and edit this when he's home... haha)
1. I will not wipe my kids noses for them. I have noticed this already with Grant, but we decided to do this early on, and I believe it's making Grant a "tougher" kid. Not a mean kid, but a tough kid. He falls, hits his head, gets his fingers stuck in some random part in the grocery cart, and he never really cries. Why? I think it's because we don't coddle him (I could write an entire BOOK on the ways I think parents coddle their children... but I'll save that for later) when these things happen. Instead, we say, "Hop Up!" or "Get up!" "You're just fine!" Granted, we do know when he's hurt and when he needs our love, but I believe children will go farther in life if you allow them to fall on their faces and learn on their own. But I will always be there to help them up if they need it.
2. I understand that parenting (by observation) is never going to be equal. Some children need more or less discipline than the others. Each child is different, and thus needs to dealt with individually. However, I do think it's important to be fair. Especially when the children are older. I fear that if parents are not fair, your children will be too smart, figure it out, call you on it, and they will be "right."
3. Discipline. Enough said. I completely agree with "Nanny 911" and other such shows that say the reason children are not disciplined are because there is no respect in the home. When do you teach your children this? From day 1. Even with Grant only being 15 months old, he still goes in time out (after 3 strikes)... even though he doesn't know exactly what's going on, it's a habit that he'll know pretty soon, and will help make my job as a mom easier. Not only do I always want to discipline my children (not be mean- there's a difference), but I want to be consistent. If not, your kids will know it, and use it to outwit you. I think kids are SO MUCH SMARTER than parents give them credit for. I mean, Grant was able to bi-pass our gate thing yesterday and made it into the kitchen without me knowing it (and I was in the kitchen!).
4. Be awesome. I want to always be awesome. Even if I am disciplining a child, you can still be awesome. haha This one is more funny...
5. I don't want to be my child's best friend, because there will be a time and place for that when they are adults. I think it's totally inappropriate for parents to be their kids best friends. It creates a lack of respect, rather than the reverse. HOWEVER, I want to be fun. I think I can do both- be the parent AND be fun. I'm not sure how it will all work down the road, but at least I am putting it out there.
6. Love. My children will hear me say "I love you" to them all the time, everyday. Not only that, but my children will know that I am in love with my husband. I think it's SOOO important that parents SHOW acts of love to each other in front of their children. It's a sad world when a child really has to wonder if their parents love each other. Ben and I have talked about how we will totally be that annoying mom and dad who kiss all the time and gross the kids out... awesome. Why wouldn't we?! If our kids are going to learn how to love, it's going to be from us, the parents.
Anyway, that has been on my mind, and now it's on "paper." haha If you have any suggestions, let me know.