…or maybe you’re not!
I know, the pic above is hilarious, but my daughters sent this to me! Huge hint, you think?
Tuesday, July 26th was PARENT’S DAY! I missed wishing you all the best day, so I thought I’d share a little post with you.
Many often wonder what separates a bad parent from a good parent. In my mind, a very thin line is all. But, I’m going to give you my 5 Top Tips of Good Parenting and if you can’t handle these, then we’re going to have to ask you to return your PARENTING LICENSE. (Oh, I forgot, the law doesn’t require those, even though they should). Here goes:
5 TOP TIPS FOR PARENTING TEENS:
*BE A GOOD LISTENER. Do you ever respond to your child with those horrible words your own parents used to throw at you…“Because I said so?” The memories of those words haunt me to this day. I hated hearing (my mom) say that, and boy, did she say it often. As a parent now, I have realized (thanks to my teenager who keeps me grounded) that “Because I said so,” is not a response, nor is it a proper response. When our kids come to us with their issues or questions and concerns, they are looking for solid answers from the people they are taught to trust, respect (and listen to) the most…their parents. Learn to listen intently to their concerns so that you are fully able to form a positive, clear, intelligent response; one that will lead them in the right direction and not drive them into the arms of others whose responses may not be in their best interest;
*AIM TO BE THEIR BEST PARENT…NOT THEIR BEST FRIEND. Many parents spend so much time trying to be their kid’s best friend, that they lose sight of their real position, that of Parent. Yes, we want our kids to think we’re “cool” and that we understand all they’re going thru, etc., and that’s OK. But, what happens when you have to step out of BEST FRIEND mode and guide them in the right direction…which you can only do in BEST PARENT mode? What do you do then? You see, your kid’s friends are their age and they all have the same issues. And because they have the same issues, if they are advising each other, it’s like the blind leading the blind. I remember some of the kids who grew up with my daughters, the ones who didn’t have traditional parents, the ones whose parents partied with them and drank with them, and allowed them “too much freedom.” I would often hear them say to my daughters, “I wish I had a mom like that,” or “I wish my mom was like your mom.” You see, no matter how often they say that “we’re not cool,” or “we just don’t understand,” they really do want us in PARENT MODE with them. It is only in that mode that they feel protected by us…and safe. If you make it a habit to always “stay in your lane” (as the kids put it), the Parenting Lane, that is, then you will nurture the relationship as it should be. Believe me, you have plenty of time to become their BEST FRIEND. My timetable says that should be when they are adults, and maybe with kids of their own;
*ALWAYS REMAIN CALM. Being a good listener is the best way to develop great rapport with your kids. When your kids come to you for advice, no matter the topic (boys, girls, sex, relationships, drugs, etc.) listen to them and fully take in what they are communicating to you. Your response to what they are sharing, is the make or break as to how they will handle their situations. Don’t interrupt while they’re speaking, think before you respond, and above all else, remember that yelling is never the answer. Don’t become part of their storm. Be their calm, so that when their storm hits, their “emergency kit” will be filled with all the right tools to weather it;
*MODEL WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO DO AND BECOME. Television, radio, social media and even friends at times, offer such negative influences that you want to remove it all from your child’s world. I’ve been there myself, where I’ve heard of a profanity-laced TV show or one filled with too much kissing and ‘other stuff,’ that I’ve said to my kids “Nope, we won’t be watching that.” That being said, I allowed my wonderful kids to watch shows like SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS and THE SIMPSONS, which other parents forbade in their homes. Because my daughters were taught the difference between right and wrong from the very beginning and consistently, I wasn’t the least bit worried about them picking up any bad habits from these shows, but I did appreciate the fact that there was such humor in the shows, that my children, with us, appreciated the laughs. We love “funnies” in our home, so these were shows we enjoyed together. Actually, we all still watch SPONGEBOB, even today. I’ve said all this to say that WE modeled what we wanted them to become. Profanity is not allowed in our home, we don’t drink or smoke, we have open and ‘honest’ discussions, and we treat each other and those outside our home, with kindness and respect. We not only talked the talk, we walked the walk and that is what you should do, as a good parent;
*LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THEM, UNCONDITIONALLY. I’ve heard parents say that sometimes, the poor behavior of their children makes them hard to love. Although I’ve never felt this emotion, I’ve seen some kids who have put their parents thru the ringer, so I can definitely believe it. I recently heard of a book called HOW TO HUG A PORCUPINE and to my understanding, the premise of the book is that kids in their formative tween and full teen years, don’t really welcome the loving hugs and attention they craved as babies and toddlers. My daughters get so many hugs, kisses and so much love daily, that they probably want to run in the other direction when they see me coming towards them. And although they pretend as if they don’t like it, they really do. I know this because when my oldest was away at college, she once said “Believe it or not, but I miss you kissing me all the time.” My youngest said to me recently, “I’m going to miss sitting on your lap and snuggling with you when I wake each morn and before I go to bed at night.” See, proof they like it! So, go on, hug your porcupines! They secretly love you doing so and don’t worry, their pines aren’t that prickly.
Do you have some great parenting tips to share? You know we all could use some! Thanks for dropping by!