Feb 012015
 
ca8d122484c6cd5c04ed702e_640_time

As our kids grow, they become more and more independent. Once they hit the age where they are working their own job and driving a car, it seems like they get farther and farther away from us. It can be a very difficult transition for any parent. We are used to our kids needing us and once they begin to float off on their own, it can be disappointing because we miss them!

When this happens there are a few things you can do to still have some quality time with your teen – the key is to make the time.

Date Night

If you can schedule a date night with your teen, this is one of the best ways to get some of their time. Scheduling it in advance is even better because it can give you both something to look forward to and it is less likely to interfere with other things. Go to a movie, go out to dinner, go to the mall; whatever the activity as long as you both enjoy it then you will enjoy the time together.

Meal Time

If you can even catch 30 minutes to sit down and have a meal together, that time can be priceless. If one of you will be out around dinner time, try to meet somewhere for lunch. Eating a meal together is not just about the food, but about the company and the time you have to chat about your day or upcoming events.

Shopping

It may sound silly, but take your teen grocery or household shopping! If you are heading to the supermarket, chances are that your teen would love to pick out some treats for them or help with meal planning for the family. Or, if you are planning a trip to buy household supplies at Target, bring your teen along and let them browse for other items. A one-hour shopping trip can actually be fun and gives you just that little bit of time together you both need.

Regular TV Show

If a new series is starting up that you are both interested in, try to plan on watching it together each week. This is another one of those scheduled events that you two can look forward to and share.

Exercise

Go for a run, take a walk, or head to the gym. Not only is this a healthy activity, but if you and your teen do it together on a regular basis it will be terrific for you both. Whether you bond over weights or just chat while on the treadmill, use this as an opportunity!

Again, the key to time with your teen is making the time. Find something you both enjoy doing and do it together. Chances are your teen will be just as happy as you that you found that time!

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Oct 182014
 

sad photo

Most of us learned about punishment from our own parents or guardians. Some of us employ the same methods while others learned to do differently. So, when your small child or teen does something wrong are you convinced that the punishment you administer fits their crime? Are you too tough? Are you too lenient? How do you feel about the punishments that you give to your kids?

I learned a lot from my mom; she was the one in charge of punishment in my house growing up. It was never “wait until your father gets home” it was “wait until your mother gets home” for me. I grew up in a blended family so-to-speak, with stepdad. So, I assume that is why.

My mom was tough. She was tough on me when I did wrong and especially if I lied. Now that I am a mom I look back on that. Sometimes I think she was too tough and sometimes I think she was just right. But one thing I can say is that I definitely learned from it all and remember it now as I have found at times I need to punish my own daughter.

What I have definitely learned not only from my own mother, but from friends with kids is that the punishment should fit the crime if we are to teach them the lessons they need to learn.

If the punishments are consistently harsh it will not necessarily have the same effect as if they differ according to the wrongful act. After all, the goal is to teach a lesson so that they do not perform the wrongful act again, right?

My opinion is this…a really bad grade or poor performance in school not warranted by history should not invoke a 3-month grounding. At the same time, getting in trouble with the law should invoke a punishment stronger than one night without a cell phone.

Who decides what is too much, not enough, or just right when it comes to punishing our kids? We already know there is no rule book or manual (unfortunately). So then, we are the ones to decide – as parents.

All I can say is that the punishment must fit the crime. Everyone’s view of what is “bad”, “wrong”, or “over the line” is different. But, as parents we must remember that if every punishment is fierce that does not necessarily mean our children will grow up to be “perfect” when making even the smallest of errors.

Everyone needs to make mistakes in order to learn. We all need to learn right from wrong, accountability, responsibility, and how to be an adult.

Standard punishments where every time our kids do something wrong they get the same punishment will definitely not teach them severity of their actions. At the same time doing nothing at all to let our kids know that they have done something wrong and need to “suffer” in some way will certainly never teach them consequences.

What are your thoughts on punishments? Do you have standard punishments and levels of those that you use? Do you come up with your punishments on the fly according to the wrongful act?

Share your thoughts below!

 

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Oct 042014
 
Flowers

As we raise our children we think about what to teach them, how to teach them, and how to reinforce what we have taught them. But, how often do we stop and think about what we have learned as parents as we are guiding our children?

I conducted an interview on MyBlogU where I asked a few questions to get people to think beyond what we might concentrate on as parents…to take a look inside their selves. I received a great response with several honest and sincere answers. I had thought about only publishing a few of those answers per question, but then I thought better of it. I believe that these parents who took the time to ponder the questions and open their thoughts up to others all deserved to have their answers shared.

Here are the three questions I asked followed by everyone’s responses:

 

Q. What is one thing you have learned by being a parent? Not something that you learned from your kids, but something that being a parent has taught you.

A. Chilly_Bang (Never act like own parents were acting, never forget how i was acting as i was a child)

I’ve learned, by god

  1. not to become so as my parents are,
  2. not to act with my children, as my parents were acting with me.
  3. never forget, how it was for me, to be a child,
  4. always to remember, how i was acting by my own in same situations, as i was a child.

A. Philtrate ( The Teaching Escape Guy)

Being a parent taught me patienevery situation from someonce, and how to look at every situation from someone else’s viewpoint. A child’s viewpoint is a great way to look at anything because children are so impressionable that you are automatically careful, you make fewer assumptions and are more tolerant of others

A. Ann Smarty (Founder)

Multi-tasking…. I don’t think I had been able to do SO MANY things at one time before I became mom… I mean my productivity has always been good but being a mom and working on your career and business – these two things at the same time bring your multi-tasking ability to tops. I remember I was writing an article while holding my daughter’s leg for her not to fall from the couch (she was under one year old then)…. Whoever is saying multitasking is bad has never been a working-from-home mom!

A. Anna Fox (Blogger)

I learned to value time! It was a very surprising discovery: How little did I value my time! Those 10 minutes with a cup of coffee thinking of nothing… They used to be taken for granted! And now, being a mom, I don’t miss them (I LOVE being a busy mom) but I’ve learned to really appreciate those 10 minutes of doing nothing!

A. Don Sturgill (Writer)

I was the youngest. My father, brother, and other male members of my extended family teased and badgered me unmercifully. By today’s standards, I was bullied and abused — both physically and mentally. The culture (Appalachian) and era saw it as “toughening me up.”

Malarkey.

Owing to that example, I often catch myself saying something flippant to my boys:

“Zeb, go whine to your Mama.”

“Zach, you are the laziest child I have ever seen.”

I hate it when I do that. My desire is to encourgage them, but it doesn’t always come out that way. I have learned to watch my tongue and strive to speak with love, rather than derision.

A. lifestyleultimatum (A lifestyle Blogger)

Well, this is quite interesting as question, because there are so many things that being a parent teach you that is quite impossible to cover everything, but I think that the first thing I learned is that we are all humans.

One of the things I have always expect from my father and mother, was to see them act always like the perfect parents, but this is not human.

We are the same person since we are kids and we still try to do our best every day, no matter what is the result.

A. Dangerous Lee (Author, Writer, Essayist)

I’ve learned that I do not want more children. I am the single mother of one and my daughter was not planned. Parenting is hard, stressful, sometimes (not literally) shitty work; especially when you’re doing it alone. One has to have all their marbles to be a parent without guilt and I for one am missing a few marbles from the bag.

Q. What is one thing that you learned from your own parents, guardians, grandparents that you now use as a successful parenting tool?

A. Chilly_Bang (Never act like own parents were acting, never forget how i was acting as i was a child)

I learned from my parents, that for succeful parenting i will always try to act on diametrically opposite art, as they were acting with me. And to become successful like parent i will always compare my parental doing with it of my own parents. i must say: it works like a charm;)

A. Philtrate ( The Teaching Escape Guy)

The most important thing I learned from my own parents was to have rules and to enforce those rules. Children want to know what the rules are in every situation, they want to know where the boundaries are so they can try to push them. My own rules are much more elastic than my parents’ ones, but they are only flexible up to a point.

A. Ann Smarty (Founder)

“My kid is always right”… Don’t get me wrong: It’s not that she is always right AT home (she is spoilt enough but not THAT much)… but she has any conflict outside of it, I want her to know whe will always come home and see no opposition: I want to always be on HER side. I think knowing that is important. That’s how I was brought up!

A. Anna Fox (Blogger)

My mom used to say “You’ll understand when you have kids of your own” and I tried to listen to her and really understand. I think that worked really well to saving us from the generation gap. That’s what’s now helping me as well: Sometimes we need to accept the fact that we are different but that doesn’t mean we cannot TRY to understand each other!

A. Don Sturgill (Writer)

My heritage comes from hard working, honest-day’s-work-for-an-honest-day’s-pay folks. My father was the first to leave the homeplace (in the mountains of rural Virginia) to work a day job (as a coalminer). Here is a link to a recent interview about my Appalachian heritage. It was conducted by host, Sarah Campbell, on her Newfoundland radio show: Heritage.

From my family, I learned the value and dignity of manual labor. I hope to pass that knowledge on to my children — but, it is difficult today. We seek to be entertained. We are easily bored. We want soft, comfortable lives and feel cheated if we aren’t being spoonfed. (Or so it seems.)

A. lifestyleultimatum (A lifestyle Blogger)

Patience. I must thank my father for this, because he has been patient with me lots times. Also he teach me to be patient with other people, because you can never know what is the experience of someone else, and what they are living in the very moment, so before to fight try to understand.

Before to judge someone, step into his shoes and walk as much as he does, if you reach such a distance, then you will understand really who he is.

Q. How has becoming a parent changed you as a person? Are you more sensitive? Are you a better problem-solver? Is there something else that you have learned about yourself by being a parent?

A. Philtrate ( The Teaching Escape Guy)

I no longer see things in black & white. As a parent (or is it just getting older?) you have to deal with all kinds of situations where there is no universally recognised right or wrong: You just have to learn to live with shades of grey, even if children do see things in black and white.

A. David Leonhardt (President, THGM )

I think, as a parent, I am now much more patient and accepting of other people and their quirks.  I see so many of my own strengths and weaknesses reflected in my daughters, that it has made me realize how important it is to just accept.  I can see the thread that weaves from my parents, through me, to my daughters.  I understand that much of me was passed down not from my parents, but through my parents from theirs.  And much of what I have passed down to my daughters, will likely be passed through them to my grandchildren (OK, that is assuming a bit at this stage).

A. Ann Smarty (Founder)

Now I know my opinion is not the only one that counts. I am a tougher person than I seem: I have my own opinion that is hard to change but being a parent I understand that being that stubborn is not good for my kid. Sometimes my husband and I don’t agree as to what’s good and what’s bad for her and often I realize I need to listen to others. I mean I still think mom knows best but now I am listening to others  as well :)

A. Anna Fox (Blogger)

I have definitely become more patient! I used to be a classic choleric (in it’s better meaning). I hated being bored. I was hardly ever tired. Now it’s all different. I became patient and I find myself enjoying quiet evenings. I prefer spending time with my family at home to going out. I think being a parent has made me a completely different person!

A. Don Sturgill (Writer)

I didn’t figure Appalachia would play such a prominent part in my answers during this interview … but it sure has. In my poem, Notes From Appalachia, I talk about how I hated my father when I was young … but saw his wisdom reflected in the landscape of our ancestral mountain home.

Now that I AM the parent, I wonder how my children will see me … down the road a ways. We are close now. They KNOW I love them. I hope they can see that my shortcomings are but shadows that will someday be gone.

Parenting — and the great love it engenders — has prompted me to develop a personal desire to change, to be better than myself, better than my father, better than his father … and the hope that my children will be better than me.

A. lifestyleultimatum (A lifestyle Blogger)

Not a better problem solver, maybe more sensitive. But of course be a parent improve my sense of the life. Everything is more difficult, but at the same time everything is easier.

I am father of two and it costs some efforts sometimes, but this make me feel better and complete.

I think that us humans, we are creative animals. All the animal have an instinct, our goal is to create something and the most of the creativity is to give birth to a new life.

———————

If you would like to connect with those who participated in the interview, they have kindly shared their information below. Thanks to all who were gracious enough to participate in my interview!

Chilly_Bang

Philtrate

Philtrate



I am a teacher and have been writing for the past 4 years. I am a life-long reader

Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty



I have 7 years of experience in Internet Marketing and blogging. You can find my personal blog at seosmarty.com

Anna Fox

Anna Fox


Don Sturgill

Don Sturgill



Writer, Dreamer, and Believer. Author the most powerful time/life management system on the planet.

lifestyleultimatum

lifestyleultimatum



I am an Blogger on the Italian and English market. On the italian market I built a stable income and now I live in Costa Rica since two years, where I decide to start my new adventure on the English market with my italian experience.
Dangerous Lee

David Leonhardt

David Leonhardt


If you would like to conduct an interview of your own, head over to MyBlogU to find out how!

Do you have thoughts of your own on these questions that you would like to share? Please feel free to leave a comment below.

 

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Jul 272013
 

We try so hard to teach our children to have confidence in themselves and to believe that they can do anything they choose when they grow up. So, to have the tables turned can feel very unusual. But, that is what happened to me.

I have always enjoyed writing and aside from technical documents for my job, I only wrote in a journal, some poetry, and jotted down little things here and there. I did not talk about it or ever show anyone anything I had written. (Well, aside from the documents at work, but that does not really count.)

I told my daughter one day how great it would be if I could write for a living. I told her how much I would enjoy it and wish that I could switch careers. She said, “Well do it Mom”. It sounds odd, but she said it so matter-of-fact like that it made me think, “Yea, why not”.

Believe

Well I gave it a shot, but stalled for quite some time before taking the plunge by actually submitting an article online. But, I finally did submit that article to a website and waited so anxiously to see if it would be published. I had such little confidence that it would be, that I did not write anything else while I waited. I guess my thought was that if it was not published, that I should pretty much forget the whole writing thing. But, as I waited my daughter was my biggest supporter. She kept reassuring me that it would be published and that I should keep writing. My daughter was also my only supporter at the time because I did not tell another single person what I had done. I was just too nervous, especially if I failed.

As it turned out, my article was published. I was shocked, to say the least. It, along with my daughter, gave me the boost I needed. My daughter told me she was not surprised at all – she had confidence in me the whole time. I just did not have the confidence in myself, nor the belief that I could actually become a writer.

Things seemed to explode for me since then. I now write for several websites, continue to work on a book I have started, have made many friends and connections, and have taken a hold of a freelance writing career part-time. I have to say that the more I write, the more I love it.

The moral of this story is that my daughter really did teach me to believe in myself. I think the fact that she believed in me so strongly was a huge push for me – it was the push I needed. Our kids do believe in us and our abilities – sometimes they think we are Superheroes, I think! If it was not for my daughter, my writing career would not be where it is now. I may not be doing it full-time yet, but that is my goal and now I really do believe that I can do it!

Thank you to Abby for her faith in me.

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Jul 132013
 

As lives get busy and children grow up, it can be hard to find the quality time to spend with our children.  Jobs, school, sports practices, recitals, friends…all take up our time.  One thing that I would suggest, especially as our kids turn to teens, is a “date night”.

It does not have to be every week and could even just be once a month, but setting aside one night, few hours, or whatever works for you is a great idea.  Be sure that you plan that time together so that you choose something that both enjoy.

Abby and Sandy Summer 2013

Abby and Sandy Summer 2013

My daughter and I love Mexican cuisine.  So, for our date night we go out to dinner to our favorite Mexican restaurant.  We really take our time and enjoy the dinner.  It has become such a “thing” for us that my daughter does not like anyone else to ever go to that restaurant with us!

Other suggestions for your time together could include a movie, shopping, mini golf, picnic, archade, spa day, or even the beach.

We receive a community paper that lists local classes being offered.  I thought it would be really fun for me and my daughter to take a class together.  Whether it is artistic like pottery or painting or something valuable like self-defense, this is also a great idea.  My daughter has not warmed to this option yet, unfortunately, but I am still trying!

The point is that if you plan a regular date night with your teen then you can both look forward to that special time together, however often it may be.  It is time for just the two of you to reconnect and I know that it really works for my daughter and I.  It is one of those times we use to talk about serious things, girl things, or just laugh with each other.

Do you do something like this with your son or daughter?  Please share your comments and suggestions!

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May 052013
 

I never realized until I dealt with a stressful situation in my current job just how much my mood affects our household.  Have you ever thought about it?  I didn’t until recently. I was sucked into letting my job affect me so much that my stress level was through the roof.  I came home angry because I was stressed out completely at 5pm every day.  My boyfriend who has lived with my daughter and I for 6 years works at the same company that I do.  So, when the pressure came down on him as well – well, I don’t have to tell you what it was like at 5pm at our house.  We were both in such horrible moods that it would take hours to just relax and be able to settle into a nice evening – and by that time, it was bed time! Neither my boyfriend nor I realized the affect that this was having on my daughter, our dog, ourselves, or our quality of life.

Image by: sxc.hu, stock.xchng, vivekchugh, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1156006

Image by: sxc.hu, stock.xchng, vivekchugh, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1156006

Upon realizing this, it was like a revelation to me.  I could not believe how miserable our household was becoming or how miserable that I was becoming, as a person.  I was letting it all get to me WAY too much!  It was to the point that when we came home from work, my daughter along with our dog, would retreat to my daughter’s room until dinner. Then most times after dinner, they or she, would go right back there!  I was spending NO time with my daughter in the evenings.

In between all of this, when we would happen across each other in the kitchen or living room at the same time, it was always just so tense.  I could not figure out why at the time.

Well, I’m sure you can imagine after telling you all of this just how bad I felt.  We had definitely fallen into not only a pattern but a trap of misery!  I just really, really had no idea how badly our moods were affecting our household.

One day, and I’m honest about this, it just hit me.  It really, really hit me…like a brick wall on wheels!  The dynamic in our home was so affected by the moods we were in that it was pulling us apart, making us all cranky and causing undo stress on everyone – including the dog! Once I realized this, things changed immediately and have not been the same since.  I do not ever, ever again want my daughter to run to her room or our dog to run to her bed every time we walk in the door!  Not ever again! I have taken steps to make sure it does not happen again.  I have:

Image by: sxc.hu, stock.xchng, marafet, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1322185

Image by: sxc.hu, stock.xchng, marafet, www.sxc.hu/photo/1322185

  1. Made sure that I leave my job where it belongs – in the office
  2. Made an effort to put on a happy face when I get home – afterall, seeing my daughter is usually the brightest part of my day, so why not act like it!
  3. Made my own life better by leaving the stress behind AND not letting the stress get to me like it did!
  4. Made sure that I only check my work email when there is a big event happening, not every time the phone beeps.  I actually turned off email notifications for my work email account on my phone.

I made these changes about 6 months ago and have noticed a huge improvement in our home.  We are all much happier and enjoy our time together – and actually spend time together!  We do not grump and mope, we are not cranky and angry.  We treat each other better and we show it.

Life is better – life is good!

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Apr 202013
 

Turning 16 brings along thoughts of wanting a job and a driver’s license for our teens.  This is where my daughter is right now.  These are brand new, huge, responsible points in my teen’s life.  They bring about so much thought of independence and teaching from us that I wrote articles on each one separately:

Photo by: sxc.hu, stock.xchng, 04evil, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/204375

Photo by: sxc.hu, stock.xchng, 04evil, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/204375

I feel a little overwhelmed with all of this at the moment, but my daughter does not seem fazed at all.  I guess I have to take a page from her book for a change!  She seems to take everything in stride, but then again that might be because these are exciting moments for her while they are terrifying moments for me.  At the same time I have to learn from what I know, as a former teenager and now as a mother.  These are just additional moments that a parent must face at some point.  The moments grow harder as our children grow older.  That is because with each memorable moment, especially when they are teens, seems to be another time to let go…just a little more each time.

Allowing our children to grown up into adults is difficult for most of us.  Letting go is even worse.  The older they get, the more responsibility they can handle, the more they venture out into the world without us is all a sign of the day to come where they leave the nest and begin their own life…without us.

Ahhh…growing up.  It seems whether it is with our children or for some of us with ourselves, we just do not want it to happen.

Unfortunately, growing up will always happen, no matter who it is.  So, the best that we can do is nurture it.  We need to help our children grow because they will all always leave the nest eventually.  So, preparing them the best we can is the best thing that we can do.  Like it or not.

I have learned that my daughter needs me to help teach her to grow up – to be an adult.  It IS my job to teach her about what will happen with her first job.  It IS my job to teach her to drive and be responsible behind the wheel.  It IS my job to teach her to be the most responsible adult that she can be.  I am her mother and all of this IS my job.

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Mar 302013
 

For my almost 16 years of being a mother I have tried to find a way to deal with the milestone birthdays of my daughter.  The most important ones so far have been her 5th birthday because she was starting school and her 13th birthday because she hit the teen years.  We are now getting ready next week to celebrate her Sweet 16.  These can be very difficult times for some parents.

We are seeing our children growing up, we are yearning for the previous years when they were “little”, we are counting down the days we have left with them before they leave for college, we are also being reminded of how old WE are becoming.  Oh yes, when our children have those milestone birthdays, it can cause a flood of thoughts and emotions.

Image by: sxc.hu, stock.xchng, ba1969, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1200968

Image by: sxc.hu, stock.xchng, ba1969, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1200968

So as parents how do we deal with these big birthdays?

Personally, I believe we need to be sure that we make these dates as special for our children as we can.  Although every birthday should be special; those birthdays that come with the tag of being a milestone – a more meaningful birthday in the scheme of life – should be celebrated as such.  And we, as parents, need to remember these birthdays are not and should not be reflections of our own lives.

We have our own birthdays to remind us of how old we are becoming (ew!).  We should not use our children’s birthdays to remind us of that as well.

So whether our kids are turning 5, 13, 16 or 21 – we need to celebrate that and celebrate them!  These are huge moments in their lives.  These are moments that our children WILL remember.  Do something special, buy them something special, spend that day with them doing something special.  Whatever you choose, whatever you are able to do, make that day so very special – for them.

Try to think about how wonderful they are, how much they have accomplished, how good they have been raised, and what special people they are becoming.  And if you need to cry a little bit later, then go ahead – after they have had their special day and gone to bed. :-)

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Feb 072013
 

It is inevitable.  At some point in time, I knew that my teenage daughter would begin dating.  I was hoping she would wait until she was 30 – probably like most parents.  Ha!  But, she is turning 16 in a few months and it is time, I suppose.

 sxc.hu, stock.xchng, Mart1n, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/872376


sxc.hu, stock.xchng, Mart1n, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/872376

So far, I have been lucky.  The first time my daughter and the boy met up, he actually came to our house so I was able to meet him in person.  Neither of them have a driver’s license yet.  This is means that the out-of-the-house dates involve my driving her to meet him, which I like.  Unfortunately, this is not going to last long.  Soon enough the time will come for her date to pick her up in a car.  I am dreading it!

So, how am I handling this?  I am preparing myself as well as my daughter.

  1. Acceptance.  Accepting the fact that it is time for your teen to start dating is the first step.  Even though parents would like to keep their kids “little” forever, they cannot.  We all know that we cannot.  And although we all tend to fight their growing up, it will happen.  Dating is a part of it.  Therefore, accepting it and moving forward is the right thing to do.
  2. Education.  I believe that by the time your teen is dating, they should have learned about the birds and the bees from you already.  If not, do it soon!  This is extremely important for both boys and girls.  Discussing teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and implications of intimacy with your children may not be easy or comfortable for either of you.  However, before they are allowed to date at the very latest, they should be educated on the subject.
  3. Responsibility.  If your teen is going on a date and one of them is driving discussions of responsibility with the car are crucial.  Being distracted by their date while driving is dangerous to say the least.  Remind them of the responsibility of driving constantly.
    1. Also in the responsibility category comes having their date home on time and arriving home on time themselves.  Curfews are not only to be upheld in the home, but many cities and states have curfews for teens; some are different for drivers as well.   Make sure that you both know the rules for the area in which you reside.

We cannot stop our children from growing up.  So, when they reach those milestones it is up to us as parents to be sure that they are prepared and that we are prepared as well.  We will worry – always.  But, knowing that we have prepared for these types of events should ease our minds, if only just a little.

 

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Oct 262012
 

As parents and real people we go through a lot of experiences – some that we share our knowledge of with our kids and some that we do not.  That is normal as well as smart.  When it comes to respect:  we teach our children to respect others, to respect us as parents, to respect their elders, to respect their teachers, etc.  But, do we teach them to respect the person that they are in a close relationship with?

It is our job to educate our children in the things that they will use in life.  I believe that this includes respect of others when they are old enough to be in closer, romantic-type relationships as this will be a crucial part of their lives.

sxc.hu, stock.xchng, quynhyen, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1314523

sxc.hu, stock.xchng, quynhyen, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1314523

Respecting the feelings and thoughts of the person you have chosen to be with at that time is not necessarily something I remember being taught.  Maybe it came with my upbringing, I’m not sure.  But I do meet too many people and see too many times that within relationships these days; respect is not as widely used as it should be.

With the divorce rates higher now than when I was a kid in the 70’s and 80’s I am beginning to see that the need for this is more and more – and has been for a long time!  Not respecting the person you are with or demanding that respect back can cause more problems than one realizes.  I don’t know that waiting until our children are actually in these relationships is the right time to educate them on this.  Shouldn’t it really start much earlier?  Now I am not saying to start when they are 5 years old, but once they get into their teens I feel that it is appropriate at least by then.  If you cannot show them through your own relationships in the home, then teach them instead.  You may live in a house where there is not a close relationship for them to learn from, but that does not mean that they shouldn’t know how to treat their significant other and vice versa when the time comes.

I think that it is important for our kids to know how they should be treated by and treat their significant other.  Teaching them, telling them that they should expect to be respected is beyond important.  At the same time, the opposite is true in that they should know how to love and respect their partner as well.

This can have a huge impact on their adult life!  Therefore it is our job to teach them….sooner than later.  Are we missing the mark if we don’t?  If so, who suffers then?

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