Tag Archives: parenting

Wisdom for your Preteen: Mom Knowledge to Share with our Kids

We all love our kids. There is nothing we wouldn’t do for them. But as they get older it is more and more difficult to share our wisdom and knowledge with them. Especially in this age of technology when instant gratification is king. Our mom cards look very flimsy compared to what a friend saw on the internet. After all, if it’s on youtube it MUST be true. But the fact of the matter is, it usually isn’t.

Life gets rocky when you hit those preteen years, and those come earlier and earlier now. But there are a few tips we can share that might prove to be very important.

  1. Keeping the communication open with our kids makes a difference. No matter what never shut down a conversation. Let them know that even if you do not know the answers, or if the subject makes you feel uncomfortable, you are there to help them. Because if they cannot come to us, they will go to the internet or a friend. And we all know that it will not end well.
  2. The internet is FOREVER. Make sure they understand that once it is on the internet or in writing, it is there, and you CANNOT take it back. We also are more willing to put things in writing that we would never say out loud. It’s the nature of text. In the “old days”, we wrote in diaries and journals. The written word gives us anonymity, it gives us strength, and it eliminates fear. It gives us the freedom to say things we would never admit out loud. So when you talk with your pre-teen make sure they know that if they wouldn’t say it to someones face, they shouldn’t ¬†write it down. If it isn’t something they would be willing to have handed back to them in 15 years and read in front of someone important to them (mom, dad, a spouse, their own kids, etc.) then it isn’t something they should write.
  3. Even though our friends may be cheering for us to do something and it feels like we are being validated for it, that applause and validation can be misleading. Even if someone is cheering you on the actions can still be wrong, harmful, or dangerous. Think about how you would feel if you did this in front of a parent, sibling, or grandparent. Would you still hear cheering if they were watching? Is this something you will be proud of when someone IMPORTANT hears about it?
  4. Labels are not permanent. You may be a popular kid, you may be a nerd, but those things are just momentary. They do not carry with you. They are not your identity. You will grow, you will change, the things that are cool now will not be in a few months or years. Everything grows, changes, and shifts. Try not to allow those labels change who you know you are. You may be good at sports now, but when you grow you may lose strength, you may have an injury. Those things will change how you play, how you interact. But they will not change how you treat people, how you learn, how you are motivated, or how hard you work. Do not let those labels make you feel small. They will not be around forever.
  5. Do not ever put someone else down. Everyone has their chance to be on top, and everyone has their chance to be on the bottom. The world is a giant spinning wheel. Remember when you are on the top who helped you get there, and who is currently below you. ¬†Because one day they wheel will spin and you will not have control over how they treat you. Treat everyone well and when the wheel spins you won’t be fearful of the bottom.

Teaching Your Child: What Type of Learner is Your Child?

Every child is different, so is every parent. I learned this on day one. I have more than one kid, and I have been doing this for a while. But guess what? It never gets easier. My kids may look like near carbon copies of one another (I apparently make one type of kid, I swear they look like twins 4 years apart, minus the fact they are different genders) they are absolutely nothing alike. One is the easiest going kid you will ever meet. Is polite, outgoing, brave, ready to learn, and learns very quickly. Once is shy, a momma’s boy, takes his time to warm up to new places, situations, and people, and is smart but works more methodically. They couldn’t be more different. Its ok. It just make for a change in my parenting style with each kid. Any parent that tells you that one style works for every child, has never had more than one child. Everyone is different. I also have a very different relationship with each child. Which is ok too. My daughter is my partner. We work together, she learns alongside me as we play, work in the yard, cook, clean, workout, and read. My son needs a teacher, a mentor, someone who stands over him and guides him. It doesn’t mean he isn’t as smart, it doesn’t mean I think he needs more help. it is just the way in which he absorbs knowledge.

I taught Special Education for years before staying home to be with my own children. It helped me see that every child is different. I truly think it guided me to understand that I have no control over my kids. They are who they are. I am simply guiding them to be the best version of who they are.

When I work with them I play to their strengths and weaknesses. My daughter shadows me to learn. She has already begun clearing her own dinner from the table, making her bed, and helping to do the dishes and cook meals. She watches what we do, and she replicates it. We make sure to model things at her level. When she sees how easy it is to do something, she goes ahead and tries. By doing this with her we have shown her how to begin taking care of her own mess, and even make her own snacks. We have moved all of her food to the lowest level of cupboards and created a snack and utensil area at just her level. Now she does things for herself.

My son needs more one-on-one interaction. When we teach him a new skill we repeat it over and over. We make it a game. each step leads to the next. He even gets a sticker reward when he completes each task. This has helped him figure out how to dress himself and put away his toys.

Self-Sufficiency is a lesson that we teach everyday of our children’s lives. It doesn’t end at a specific stage. But if you find your child’s learning queues you can make it easier for everyone involved. Take a few days to watch and observe your kids. Do they need more help, less help, do they do things on their own, do they need extra motivation? No matter what type of learner they are you can help them. Just remember not to put to much pressure on yourself, being a parent is hard. But it can also be very rewarding. Especially when you can sit on the couch and watch your child get their own snack while you take a five minute break.

Are your Kids: Spoiled? Unspoiled? Just Kids?

We all have heard it at least once as a parent. Your kid is spoiled. But what does that mean? Is our kid really spoiled? Or is someone witnessing your child on a bad day? We all have bad days. We all have moments where we can act entitled, privileged, and snobby. But does that mean we are spoiled?

My son was recently witnessed on a very bad day. He was with me in the store. We had been shopping all day. We did a LARGE Costco run, we ran to the Bank, we ran to the Dollar Store, we took his sister to school, we attended a meeting for the PTA, and we finished it all off at Toys R Us. Bad idea, I know. But it was my daughter’s birthday weekend. We were picking up last minute items for her party, including her brand new bike. While we were in the store my 1 1/2 year old son who was very tired, had not napped for longer than a car ride all day, had not eaten since lunch (nearly two hours prior) and was physically and emotionally spent with errand day, spotted a brand new truck. holding my hand as he followed along he reached out to grab the truck. Sorry little man, not today, I sadly explained. That was the last straw for my poor little guy. Meltdown central began.

He let go of my hand and threw himself flat on the tile floor in the middle of Toys R Us and proceeded to throw a tantrum that would make the Academy want to award him a little gold statue. An older woman walked by and smiled at me, the she frowned at my son. Who had begun kicking while spinning on the ground, crying out-loud “want, truck, want truck!” I was exhausted myself, ready to be done for the day so I could take my daughter to baseball practice and finally go home to bake for her party. I wanted to scream, I wanted to yell, but I didn’t. Instead I bent down, picked him up, hugged him, gave him a bug kiss, and said “you really want that truck don’t you?” He sobbed, nodded, and laid his little head on my shoulder. The lady warned me. Do not give in to him. He is spoiled, he should not be rewarded with a truck for throwing a tantrum. Listen to me I have three grown children.

I understood her advice. I listened. I smiled. But I knew that my son had also had a long day. He had not been difficult until that moment. He was sweet in the other stores. Quiet at the bank. And still had to go sit through his sisters 1 1/2 hour baseball practice in the cold wind before going home to eat dinner and get ready for bed. I knew he needed something to keep him distracted, entertained, and lets face it, keep me sane. I reached for the truck and took it right to the checkout.

I know! I must be insane. I am spoiling my kids. But really, am I? My son stopped crying. He followed me closely to the checkout. He didn’t cry or speak again until he was happily strapped in his carseat. I unwrapped he truck and handed it to him. His face lit up, “truck!” he happily uttered. And for the entire time at baseball he played happily. Now I do not routinely I’ve in to tantrums. But, I do not feel this tantrum was truly a tantrum. Kids are just like us. they feel fatigue, they feel overwhelmed, and they are not always able to regulate those emotions as well as adults. I knew my son was at his emotional wits end. He was overwhelmed with his long day. I got down to his level, affirmed his feelings, hugged him to let him know I understood and it was ok. Sometimes we all just need to know there is someone out there who gets it. It doesn’t mean we are spoiled. It just means we are human. and after all, some of us are just kids.