I made it. All my children are young adults and they survived my mothering skills. Well, just about.
When you are a very young parent, (I had my first child when I was 22! TWENTY-TWO! I was a BABY!) a lot of parenting is trial and error. I can’t say I grew up knowing how to parent and I didn’t have much to draw from. Good heavens, parenting is so difficult and we do tend to make a mess of things. Coupled with the total lack of societal support — even outright discouragement at times — I wonder how parents do it sometimes! One of the benefits of homeschooling and a Christian environment is that the children grow up with the traditional values of the parents. This was once very commonplace in our country and was the reason for our incredible work ethic and inventiveness, but it’s largely gone now.
Anyway, if I could rewind my life or create a video and send it back in time to the young me, this is probably what I’d say to myself.
1. The world does not revolve around you. It revolves around your child who is hungry, needs a hug and a diaper change at 4am. Lesson learned: my needs sometimes have to be set aside for the needs of others. And when they grow up they will be there for me when I am hungry, need a hug and a diaper change at 4am.
FREE PARENTING TIP: Duct tape does wonders.
2. Leftover turkey can be prepared in 152 different ways. Thrift is not only necessary for saving money, but for encouraging creativity and resourcefulness.
3. Daddies do not view parenthood and child-rearing the same as mommies do. Don’t be such a control freak or be upset when your husband doesn’t “feel” as maternally protective as you do. Men are more likely to take chances and let their kids fail or fall.
FREE PARENTING TIP: Don’t worry, kids bounce.
4. Children can be selfish, manipulative, deceptive little cuties. Don’t judge by appearance.
5. Children can be the sweetest little things even when they are all sticky and messy. It is a wonderful feeling to be loved and needed by others.
6. Children are stronger, healthier, and smarter than mothers think they are. Coddling the child will lead to problems later.
7. It is better to be a “mean, unfair mom” and make a child do a project well the first time than to let things slide. Laziness is contagious and, if allowed to fester, chronic.
FREE PARENTING TIP: Kids make mistakes. Yeah, believe it or not, they are not perfect like parents.
8. Study and hard work. The homework lessons are more important now than when I had to do it when I was a kid. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Experience is a hard master, but fools will have no other.” :smarty:
9. I appreciate my own parents more and I regret not being able to tell them, now that I understand. It has been said that “children cut their teeth on their parents.” Appreciation, one of the greatest gifts from a child, will come in due time. WHEN it comes is another matter…. :think:
10. Children are relieved when they are rebuked and disciplined. Everybody needs a helping hand and needs guidelines.
FREE PARENTING TIP: Let them know when you’re offering them a helping hand so they’re not left guessing!
11. Popsicle sticks, Elmer’s glue, and an hour of quality time together is better than a new bicycle or a $500 Lego set. People are more important than stuff and you can’t buy love. Of course, the selfish little brat would probably rather have the expensive toy than another hour with you, but they will come to see the light… in about 20 years… hang in there.
12. Teaching the Bible to children at an early age has multitudes of benefits. Parenthood is more than just creating good producers for society.
13. Children imitate their parents and learn by example. Never, ever, ever lie to your children, and never tell them all your problems.
FREE PARENTING TIP: The Metallica crap you listen to will turn their baby brains into mush.
I hope this post has encouraged you! If you are a young mom or dad, my message to you is HANG IN THERE> You will survive, just like I almost have! 😯
How about you? What has parenting taught you, or what do you think it could teach you? If you do not have children, can you recall something your parents did that has taught you anything now that you are an adult?