Teach Your Children Well
I know what you’re thinking: What the Hell does someone who is clearly “not a momma” know about raising kids? I can tell you from the side of being a step-parent role of small children, teenagers, young adults, and, most importantly, sitting in a therapist’s chair when a parent has finally has exhausted all of their own efforts and ideas and hopes that the therapist can “fix” their child. Parent’s never liked my response and so few of them returned to therapy with me because the issue was beyond “fix my kid”, the problem was “fix my family”.
Am I saying that this is common? No. Do you know how to teach your child well? When they say, “Daddy, will you play tea with me?”, play tea. When they say, “Mommy, will you help me practice soccer?”, do it. Here’s the thing, those precious 5 year old faces are going to be 25 yr old know-it-all assholes soon, so do what you can to teach them that they are special and wonderful and beautiful, but don’t teach them that perfection is the standard. Teach them that they are unique, but in their OWN special ways. If they believe that they are special in every way, you’ll end up in a therapist chair later when you’re trying to get them to move out of your damn basement.
Teach your children the value of hard work. Not every “chore” needs to be paid for. Some should be included as room and board (lol, use this method accordingly). When it’s time for them to get a job, no job is beneath them. When it’s time for them to get a car, you may have the means to give it away, but resist the urge, this is where hard work comes into play.
If you are divorced parents, get on the same page. Yesterday. Chances are, one of you will fair better financially and this should not play any kind of role in co-parenting. Step-parents and significant others HAVE to be included in plans and on board with the way decisions are made in the houses. That’s not to say, everyone gets to make the decisions, but every person involved must enforce the same rules and allowances. If he can do this at Dad’s house, he should be able to do it at Mom’s house and vice versa.
Finally, teaching your kid to just be a good, compassionate human being means spending less time isolated with video games and more time outside in the real world. If all his friends do is play video games, encourage video games, encourage sports, sleepovers, family outings. The same goes for your girls. Socialization cannot be understated as an important factor in growing so many lessons for your children.
One more final, yet pertinent thought, parents, have a date night every once in awhile for crying out loud! You are the backbone of the family!
Please leave feedback and comments about what has worked for you!