Healthy Independence.

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Our jobs as parents are to mold and teach this little person that was given to us to be a functional adult.  One way that we do that is by teaching independence.  Now, I do not mean that you kick your six year old out of the house to fend for himself.  I mean preparing your child to function as an adult on his own when the time comes.  Here are some helpful tips to start teaching independence.

1. Give children appropriate responsibilities.  As adults we all know that responsibilities are one of the things that we all have day in and day out.  Your children are going to have those as well.  Having a sense of responsibility makes you feel that you have a purpose.  It makes you feel that you are needed and wanted.  Children need to feel that way as well.  When we give out responsibilities make sure it is a task that your child can successfully handle.  Do not set them up for failure. Also let them do it.  You can instruct them on how it is done but let them do it.  If Brad is responsible for the trash and he may not be coming home, it is his responsibility to get some one to take out the trash for him.

2. Let them find their way.  I know that Savanah may not make up the bed with those sharp military corners that you like. But she does get up every morning and makes up her bed to the best of her ablity.  Please do not go back and remake her bed because it is not up to your standards.  I saw a post the other day that said that 8+1=9 but so does 5+4.  We are getting the same answer but using different methods.  Same thing with your child.  They get the job completed but they may do it their way.  That is what you want for your child, for them to think for themselves.

3.Be consistent.  This is always a big thing in your parenting journey.  Children pick up on inconsistencies and they start becoming inconsistent themselves.  Be an example.  Let your yes be yes and your no be no.

4. Help them make healthy decisions.  Let them decide on what they want to wear shorts in 30 degree weather explain to them why this is not a good decision.  Then let them show you what would be the best thing for them to wear. Celebrate their good decisions.

5.Help your child talk through solutions. Be a listening ear.  If you let your child talk through situations they will be able to find suitable solutions or almost suitable. They may need a nudge here and there but let them come up with the solution to their problems.

6.Create opportunities for your child to be independent.  Let them choose what is for dinner one night.  Give them a part of the grocery list and let your children go in pairs to pick those things out.  Let them redecorate their room.  Give them an opportunity to be independent.

7. Set some clear expectations.  Let them know that they are an important part of this family and with that comes expectations that they must follow.  Such as curfews, unplugging at the dinner table, or cleaning their room.  Let them know what that means to you and what those things look like. Also give them instructions and make sure that they understand fully, even if you have to repeat it a couple of times.

8.Be Open.  Be open to them figuring out the world on their own.  Give them some healthy space.  Let them work through tough situations.  When they ask you what you think about something.  A good thing to say is “I will always have advice for you and I am so glad you came to me.  However, I first want to hear what you think you should do.”  This creates dialogue between you and your child creating a strong bond between you two.

9. Let them fail to their way to success.  I know that you have been through so many life failures however those things helped to groom you into the person that you are today.  The same goes for your child.  I know that it breaks your heart to see your child hurt, disappointed, or sad.  However those emotions and situations builds character.  So sometimes you have to let them fail but be right there to comfort, talk to them about what they can do differently next time, and listen to them. Which brings me to number ten.

10. Let them know you are there for them.  You are their support system.  They look to you as an example and as a sounding board throughout their life.  Let them know that you are challenging them to be the best them that they can be, but you will always be there when they need you.  You may not always pick up the pieces however you are there to give encouragement or to be their rock.

What sort of ways do you help your child become and independent child?  I would love for you to share.  Comment below or connect with us on facebook and/or twitter.

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Discipline is a positive thing.

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discipline

 

Discipline the d word no one wants to talk about when it comes to their children. They feel guilty when their child is not pleased with them. As parents this is something that we should not dismiss. Discipline is not the harming of your child because he or she doesn’t do things your way. Discipline is a positive part of growing up. The definition of discipline from dictionary.com is: Training to act in accordance with the rules. If we do not discipline them at home they WILL be disciplined when they go out into the world. I know some that want to keep their child a “free spirit” ok I get it. You want your child to be expressive and not want to stifle creativity. Others may want to rule with an Iron fist and have their children on an eighteen year sentence. So let’s look at some ways to create a culture of discipline in your home that will work for you and your family.

  1. What does your child best respond to? My parents were firm believers in “spare the rod and spoil the child”. However I can count on one hand the number of spanking I received. I was no angel but I would most of the time straighten up on the first “death look” I would get from my mom. I would respond to looks and stern talking to’s. My brother on the other hand was a different story.
  2. Are the rules clear and concise in your home? You cannot fault a child for doing something that they didn’t know was off limits. Some things we as parents do not think about until they happen. When that happens lend a little grace. Say something like “ no we cannot do that and this is why….”.
  3. Which brings me to: give your children explanations as to why they do not do certain things. Most kids respond better when they know why they can’t have things or why certain actions are not tolerable. You will get a lot less attitude.
  4. Think of creative consequences for your children. Time out may not work for your little one. Or sending your child to their technology filled bedroom may not be the way to teach a lesson. For example I was just sitting around the table the other day listening to the wisdom of seasoned parents. One lady told a story of her son always slamming the door when he was upset. They had told him over and over that that was unacceptable behavior. One day he went to slam the door and there was no door to slam. They took it off the hinges. He learned not to slam doors. Extreme? I don’t think so but that is just me, I call it creative.
  5. Be consistent!!!! This is so huge! Follow through is everything when teaching and implementing discipline. If you tell your child you cannot go outside until all of your homework is finished and checked. You have to go by that rule. Even it is inconvenient to you. Because the lesson that your child will learn is that your word cannot be trusted. Or “I can get away with it because my parents will not do anything”. When those feelings and ideas come into their head, the level of respect that they have for you will diminish.

We will work on these five for now. Disciplining your child may make them salty at you at first and maybe for a couple of days. They may roll their eyes behind your back. However what is being instilled in them is that “my parents care enough to raise me the right way.”I have had so many talks with children especially in the middle school age bracket, that will say” my mom doesn’t care.“  You never want your child to think you do not care about them. Because they will start searching for someone who does and that is how gangs grow and our girls fall into the negative cycle of abuse by men. Let us show our children we care enough to teach them right from wrong.   I would love to hear your ideas. Comment below or come and connect with us on Twitter or Facebook. Thanks for being part of the imperfect parent team.

Welcome to The Parenting Peace

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I was thinking about how I could share my thoughts and gain the knowledge of others about parenting.  Then I thought Social Media of course, but they limit what you can say.  So here I am at The Parenting Peace.  Here to share with you peace in parenting. 

No parent is perfect and I understand that, more than you know, and I wanted to have a place for us.  The imperfect parents.  We can relax here we can share stories and find peace in knowing we are not the only ones who struggle with parenting.  No matter how many books that help us, I have written a few myself, there is not an instruction book that will work perfectly for each parent with every child. 

So here we are welcome feel free to share your thoughts, your stories, your victories, and failures.  We are not here to judge but to encourage.  I cannot wait to get started.

 

 

Peace,

 

L.Marie