A newly-married friend asked me today: “I like the way you work with your girls, mind sharing how do you go about raising them?”
It’s a pretty wow question because when I started thinking any answers seemed lesser of being an answer and in the end I’d to say I’ve no idea if she was really waiting for a set of perfect answers.
It’s like an ever-learning process, as kids grow, their needs change and we have to evolve our expectations and way we work with them along.
When they fall ill, cry or get heart broken it literally can feel worse than screwing up the biggest project at work, but when they come to you with a simple appreciation like a hug or a simple ‘I love you’, it makes all the sacrifices you can afford worth it. This is part and parcel for any parent with love for your kid.
In the end I feel that what really worked for me that is generic enough to share is really a set of rules I apply:
1. No matter how shitty your day was, it’s your issue, never take it out on the kids.
2. Kids grow best when they feel safe and stable, they need an environment where they sorta know what to expect next to be able to learn well, be creative and learn to be independent.
An example is if even in NS full of adults, people brief each other treating each like a total idiot, there’s little reason to expect your kid to know what to do unless you make yourself clear.
Spend at least 30 mins everyday with them from young asking about anything or simply playing. Never ever tell them a question was stupid. They learn to open up to you instead of hiding/lying to you, moreover speaking to them enables them to grow their vocabulary at an immense pace, easier outpacing some of their peers attending expensive tuition lessons or staring at Peppa Pig for hours a day.
We all have different beliefs, having a group of friends with older kids I could call at 2am in the morning to ask for advice worked wonders for me. (Whatever shit u are facing now they prob faced it) So have the humility to read, ask and listen from people you can trust.
5. Being firm.
Ironically you will always face people suddenly appearing expecting you to listen to their advice wholeheartedly, learn to be firm enough to say no if their advice goes against sense or your gut feelings. If they feel hurt they gonna have to deal with it themselves because if I screw up my kids they won’t have to deal with it.
6. When you have to scold or discipline you should, make sure they know why and agree to the punishment before you proceed.
Always listen to them first before you judge. As adults we don’t do it enough, but u can at least do it for your kid.
7. Learn to enjoy the good moments and manage the bad moments. Take them as learning checkpoints.
There will surely be good and bad moments. It’s a process. You can quit your job, your friends, your habits but u don’t quit on your kids.
It is not easy, but you know what, if billions of others have done it, so can you 🙂
2 Replies to “Parenting – was there ever a guide?”
Interesting guide you have Keith. Well written and I will definitely share this to others.
Thank you for dropping by and the kind words 🙂