How to Have Kids Who Are Amazing!
The secret sauce to perfect & amazing kids, isn’t this just what everyone is seeking?
The ONE thing, as a parent, we can do, to absolutely Guarantee our kids will be happy, healthy, smart, fun, funny, creative, kind, financially free, and loved by everyone?
I’m here to tell you, I’m still looking for the end all to guarantee it and give me the Nobel Prize to parenting … but alas … I don’t have the definitive answer. Though, I believe I can help, even a little would be helpful, right?
Start With the End in Mind
Back when I was pregnant with my first child (who is going to be 11 years old in 3 weeks), I scrapped the What to Expect When You’re Expecting book because I found it to be far to contradictory and not actually prepare me to be a parent. I searched, found, and, what became The Parenting Bible & my all time favorite gift to give, The Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, & Communicate with Your Baby by Tracy Hogg. One of the KEY pieces of advice I received, was to Always Start with the End in Mind. Meaning, your actions and words should consider the big picture of how you would like your child to be.
Take for example the super simple act of introducing baby foods. Why do parents & parenting books say to start with vegetables before fruits? Because, you want to start with the end in mind … you want your kids to like vegetables? Don’t start them with the sweet stuff – fruit. 90% of kids won’t touch veggies if they start with fruits. (that statistic is based on my own small polling 🙂 But you get the idea)
Another example is talking to your kids. So many parents have the misconception that babies don’t understand, but this is simply not true. The More you communicate and interact with your child on a level of always teaching, the better communicator your child will be. I talked with my kids (and NO baby talk) as soon as they were born. Every time they were awake, I interacted with them, I communicated with them. I used sign language with them from birth (which they started using at 4 months old); result? No terrible twos from any of them, simply because they each had a means to communicate without the frustration of not being understood.
As my kids have gotten older, it’s been about adding responsibilities – in what they do and how their character develops. What you do or don’t teach your kids, how much you do or don’t do will affect them in the long run. My 2nd and 5th graders pack their own school bags. If they forget anything, they have to do without – we don’t drive their things to school – it’s a part of responsibility, a part of being accountable, and a part of being independent. When they want snacks, they get their own at home. They read a minimum of 30 pages (not Minutes) per day so they get in the habit of reading, expanding their vocabulary, expanding their abilities to learn more, learn better, and focus. Even my 4 year old has reading time – and yes – he can read … because we started with the end in mind.
Think Before Your Act!
I see so many kids who are so tired when they’re out and the parents blame the kids. It’s NOT Their fault!! Kids typically have tantrums out because, they’re tired, hungry, or they’ve become accustomed to a certain behavior which YOU are now not following. There are, of course a few exceptions, but these things cover the majority of situations. Knowing your kids – eating schedule or being aware of the time – will make a huge difference in their behavior when you’re out. Talking with them about their behavior in advance and letting them know that if they are well behaved THEN you can all do xxx (ie: get ice cream, get the movie to watch at home, stop at the petting farm, etc.) sets expectations for everyone. Remember to ALWAYS follow through on your word, parents! If you don’t, you’re teaching your kids that it’s okay to not keep your word, that as a parent, you’re not trustworthy, and there is really no reward for good behavior. Start with the End in mind.
Be aware of the words you use or don’t use. Be aware of what you do, when, and how – you are your kids’ example.
We’re All Learning
Parenting is an evolving process. No one method works for all children; I know; I have 3 and need to tweak some things just a wee bit with each! Know your kids and you’ll have very happy kids. At the end of the day, kids want to know they are important to you – focus completely on them. Turn off your phone/tv/tablet and turn On your ears. Stop watching videos on YouTube and start making them with the fun you’re having with your kids. They’ll remember the time you don’t spend with them and the time you do – wouldn’t you rather they have more memories of the time you do?
Did you get anything from this post? I am Passionate about parenting. I look to improve who I am for myself and for my family.
I’d love to know situations when you’ve had to Start with the End in Mind. Comment below to let me know. And if you like this post, please Share it on Facebook or G+.
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