When becoming a parent was something I knew was in my near future, I started to question what being a “parent” consisted of. My biggest question to myself was how to raise a child with character, integrity, respect, responsibility, love, and compassion. How do I teach my child these principles in a way that she will choose to follow when it comes time to make her own decisions?
I became a mom at the age of 22, and I still didn’t have the answer to my question. I started to observe mothers around me to see how they handled situations, and how they showed love to their children. Through everyone’s different solutions and way of parenting, I started to figure out what parenting would look like in our home.
My daughter is 2 years old now, and this is the time where “parenting” becomes more present than when I just had to love, nurture, and cuddle with my baby. It was hard when the day came to where I had to decide if she was old enough to be disciplined or not. It broke my heart to spank her the first time(and it still does). I remember my mom saying “This hurts me more than it does you” when she would spank me, and I would always think “Then why are you doing it?!” or “Yeah, right.”. But, now I know why and I thank my mom ALL the time for raising me the way she did, because now I have all those characteristics that every human should have.
My husband and I had very similar upbringings, so our idea of parenting was also very similar which made things a little easier for us and our parenting journey together. We love parenting our daughter and watching her learn and grow. It starts with us, parents, to implement good character into our children, because they will be the next generation of leaders to make a difference in our country!
We love parenting(and you should, too) because:
The reward is so much greater!
The reward of parenting is so much greater than the day to day challenges that we face as parents. The days where my patience is run thin and I feel like I’m not doing anything right, my daughter gets in my face with her hand on my shoulder and says with the most concerned look on her face “K mama?”. Well of course I’m okay now, the sweetest little girl just showed sympathy for her mama and comprehended that when someone is upset, you love on them.
Reward comes when we teach lessons to their mistakes. Families live a less stressed, structured life when parents authority is established over our children.
Discipline teaches them good behavior.
Good behavior is key. Can you imagine a grown up throwing a temper tantrum at their boss, because they got in trouble for being late to work? You would probably think of their behavior as ridiculous. Our children are successful, because of our discipline that we instill to them at an early age. Through discipline, we show our children that we love them and we care about their future. Discipline can look different in each household, but it SHOULD be in each household.
Our children are born clueless. They don’t know what is right from wrong. We have to teach them to decipher those things, and when we fail to do so we leave our children lost and distressed with life.
When my husband and I discipline, we…
- Speak with her first >> We explain to her what she did and why it’s wrong, and we give her a solution of how to handle the situation the next time it happens.
- If the incident happens again, we remind her of the last time and repeat the solution to her. Sometimes, we all need a second chance for things to sink in, and at 2 years old this is still a learning age for them to comprehend.
- If the same incident happens a third time, we have a disciplinary action that takes place whether that is a spanking, or time out in her room. Somehow this always seems to kick things in gear, because in the days following, my daughter reminds ME what is a “no, no” LOL! And she makes sure her babies know that as well.
- It is love like no other!
When I think of parenting, I think about the most unexplainable love there is. No matter what, my husband and I are always reassuring our daughter that we love her. We, parents, cannot express that to our children enough. Everything we do should be acted out of love towards our kids. Whenever our frustrations and stress are on a high, we should choose to control the way we act and not act out from our frustrations. Our daughter knows, that even through discipline, we love her. If our children know we love them and are there to love on them EVEN when they make mistakes, we have done our job as parents.
Here are some day to day steps to raising our children to be responsible and respectful..
- Establish daily manners. >> “Yes, ma’am” “No, ma’am” “ Yes, sir” “No, sir” “Please” “Thank you” “No, thank you”. You might be thinking “That is so elementary”, but it’s not common anymore for me to hear “elementary” manners. I remember calling people “Ma’am” and they would say “Don’t call me that, I’m not old enough to be a ma’am”, but I’ve come to see that is not a sign of your age, but, rather, a sign of respect towards someone that I feel we have slowly lost in today’s culture. It’s not to late to bring it back and remind our young ones to give respect when it needs to be given. My husband and I have had several adults tell us how polite our daughter is and how well mannered she is in public (and we don’t beat her at home to make sure she acts that way 😉).
- Acknowledge their good behavior more often than their bad behavior! If they are only getting attention by the bad things they do, they start to relate attention from mommy and daddy is by bad behavior. Instead, if we acknowledge and praise them for all the positive things they do, they will seek attention that gives them praise rather than reprimand.. I think you get my point. Hopefully….
- Responsibility comes by letting them learn to do things on their own. This. Is. Hard. Especially if you have a choleric (controlling) personality like I do. Kids have to learn at some point. It will be slow at first. So slow. Be patient and focus on what each task teaches them. One task can be cleaning up after themselves. Like putting away their toys, and clearing their plate after a meal.
Sometimes it is so hard for me to let go of the perfection and let our home be a learning environment. When I just want to do things quickly and move on or I want everything back where it goes, I have to stop and tell myself that this doesn’t help my daughter learn how to be responsible and consistent, rather than, she can’t do things good enough, and that is NOT the lesson I want to teach. We have to remember to let go of our perfection and let our children learn their way by being creative and using their imagination.
I hope this has helped you see how you can love parenting just as much as we do! Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below. I’m always up for suggestions of topics you want to know more about!