Our interesting stage in parenting

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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.


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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.

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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 xxx

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  1. Hello Yvonne.
    Love, love and love this post! I have changed immensely. When I first became a parent, it was like stumbling in a corridor of darkness. I had great role models in my parents BUT making my own chouces, in my own home, with my husband was totally different from living at home as a daughter.
    We both have a great value base we draw on daily to raise our children. Kindness is such a great value. We constantly emphasize it to our kids. They have tendencies to ve mean to each other, even though they love each other. We tell them: “Only in this home will you have people who will love you. Once out that door, no one cares like your family. It is your responsibility to be kind to each other.” They are learning the importance of loving each other. Calling each other…and yes, us on bad behaviour.
    I am opinionated and could come across as brash. I have learnt to be softer, less ‘in your face’, more accomodating of others. In fact, I can say parenting changed in me what I had struggled to change on my own.
    Love makes us what we look for in others.


    • “When I first became a parent, it was like stumbling in a corridor of darkness.” Love this description of what it is like to lack experience in parenting. Same here, parenting and blogging have helped me understand people better. xxx


  2. I reached a new stage of parenting this morning and I’m not dealing with it well. Amber walked to school on her own this morning with 2 friends. As the house suddenly went empty and quiet, Bailey and I looked at each other at a loss as to what to do. We had an extra 15 minutes. It was very quiet.

    After I dropped him off at school, I had two thoughts: get a full time job and have more babies. They’re just knee jerk reactions to seeing Amber become independent. I’ve still got one child who’ll need dropping off and picking up for a good few years yet, but my baby girl is wearing my clothes and no longer a baby and I don’t want to let go. Still, I have to let go. I’ll just cling to the dog – she loves being cosseted.


    • Wow. My darling Lorraine. That is a big one for you. Your comment brought tears to my eyes. You need to tell us more. Perhaps another tear jerker post? xxx


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