Presently, John and I are at an interesting stage of parenting. When I say interesting, a better word to describe this stage would be ‘muddling through’. Our first daughter Ola is going to be nine years old in September and her younger sister Lore will be seven in three months. Both are now at an age where they are beginning to have a mind of their own. And they are not afraid to tell us how they feel and what they want!
Our daughters having minds of their own is a good thing. However, after some issues last weekend, John and I realised that we have some parenting work to do. We still need to teach our daughters some fundamental values. These are values that will take them further in life.
One of the values we have been drumming into Ola and Lore since they could speak is the importance of greeting people with a simple ‘hello’. As soon as they started school, we taught them that they MUST not walk past their school’s headmistress, teachers or anyone else who works in the school without greeting them. This rule not only applies to the people who work in their school but to anyone that we know. At times, they break this rule but I don’t let them get away with it – I dress them down. It may seem harsh, but to me it is impolite and this is the kind of behaviour that will hold them back.
As parents, we are now very strict about how they speak. We remind them that speaking well means they are not judged unfairly – or even looked down upon. The fact remains that most parents (whether they admit it or not) want their kids to do well in life and we are no different. For John and me, it is very important that Lore and Ola do well in life. Society judges us by the way we speak and how we look; it may be unfair, but it is what it is. Even David Beckham learnt this lesson pretty quickly in the early days of his football career when he was made fun of because of the way he spoke.
We never fail to remind our daughters the importance of kindness (not niceness). John and I are kind people and since our children see us demonstrate this quality, they will be kind girls. What we are now beginning to teach them is to get the line between being kind and being nice right. Kindness is showing empathy, compassion and generosity. And from my life experience being nice means being a doormat to others. And most women allow themselves to be doormats thinking they are being nice. It is important that our daughters are confident enough to let the people in their lives know where boundaries lie.
This present parenting stage means we are asking our daughters to question things more, to go with their instincts, be brave and take sensible risks. We constantly remind them that they can do whatever they want to do providing they work hard, are dedicated, and are determined. And they must love to read books – this is the best way to grow the mind.
Last but not the least – is not to take crap from anyone… not even from us – their parents. It is vital that as a mum, they see me stand up for myself. I tell them that they don’t have to argue with the person that is trying to give them crap but, they must not accept the crap by letting it get to them or bring them down.
How has parenting changed for you in the past few years? Does parenting get any easier ?
Yvonne xxxDid you enjoy this post? If so please support us: like, share and comment!