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5 Things I’ve Learned as a Parent

Now that you’re a “seasoned” parent, how do you respond to the young, non-parent who makes the comment “MY child will never…..(fill in the blank)”?

I’ve learned over the years that the best response is no response.  Those people will never fully understand until they have children of their own.  Even then, they still might not get it.

~ I’VE LEARNED that each child, while somewhat similar, can be extremely different from each of their siblings. What worked with one, may not – and probably WILL NOT – work with the others.  Take the time to find what works with each child.   You will make their (and your) life so much simpler.

For example, my oldest daughter could have cared less about “things”.  She would not, no matter what I did, clean up her toys.  I could threaten to take them, ground her, etc.  What worked with her was having me bring a chair into her room, park my butt and point to each item and make her pick it up (or else I’d be in her room FOREVER).
Her younger sister, however, would frantically run around picking up her toys at the meer mention of them being taken (because I actually emptied her room one time).

~ I’VE LEARNED that kids are going to hurt your feelings.  They are going to say things when they’re angry at you (which will be frequently) that sting.  DO NOT, under any circumstances, let that deter you.  You certainly have a right to let them know they hurt your feelings or that what they said was inappropriate, but don’t gimp out or they’ll keep doing it.

~ I’VE LEARNED that its important to spend individual time with each child – even if its only a few times a year.  Take them to a movie or to lunch.  These will be the moments they will cherish – not a clean house.

~I’VE LEARNED that you need to accept your child for who they are – not who you wanted them to be.  This was difficult for my kids father and was ultimately what drove us apart.

I know that when I first set eyes on my daughter after she was born, I never once thought “I hope you have your first child when you’re 19”.  Hell no……I was angry.  So I get it.  You have dreams for your kids; you want them to have a better life than you did and you don’t understand why they can’t just listen to you.

Once I got over it and accepted my daughter for who she truly is rather than who I wanted her to be, I felt more at peace and so did she.

The simple fact is, they’re individuals and they’re going to do and be what and who they want.  It’s more important for me to have my daughter in my life than for me to be upset over something I can’t change.  And by the way, who she is, is pretty great.  She may not be living the life I had envisioned for her, but she’s happy, healthy and is a great mom and a contributing member of society – isn’t that all we ultimately want?

~I’VE LEARNED that even when we think they don’t hear us, they do.  They’re not going to admit it – at least not until they have kids of their own (if you’re lucky).  I still smile to myself when I hear my kids repeat something I’ve said that I SWEAR they completely ignored.  They’re listening – trust me.

~I’VE LEARNED that I have just as much to learn from them as they do from me!  They’re pretty wonderful people!

 

Have a wonderful, family filled, fabulous weekend!