I must admit, learning how to be a parent has probably been one of my most exciting yet challenging tasks.  Although I was raised with and around wonderful examples of parenting, I still felt unprepared once our oldest son arrived.  At the time, all of our friends had children, and we were the only ones who did not.  They were great examples to watch and learn from; however, I still felt inadequate a lot of times.  Now, I can finally say, ten years later, that I am a little experienced and more comfortable with whom I have become as a mother.  I realize that parenting is not a one- way street and that there are many ways to parent effectively.  I also realize that sometimes we have a false perception of what comes along with raising kids until we become parents ourselves.  This is what I have found that it really means to raise kids:

 

  1. Kids are not perfect, they will make mistakes-

Of course, we would love for our kids to always get it right but the truth of the matter is they are human and they will not.In fact, they are just like us, imperfect.Kids will make mistakes.They will make bad choices that will disappoint us.They will sometimes do the complete opposite of what we have taught them to do. Kids will sometimes do things that make us question their thought process.Why? They will because they are kids.Sometimes, we as adults must remember that kids don’t think like adults, they think like kids.We have to make sure that we are not expecting too much out of them and remember that every mistake or bad choice can be used as a teaching tool.When our kids make mistakes, it is not necessarily due to us being bad parents, but most of the time a sign that they are normal kids.

 

  1.  Kids have bad days too-

As adults, it is easy to forget that kids are not always at their best and they have bad their days, just like we do.Many times we are focused on the attitude that is being displayed when they have those days. Instead, we should take some time to figure out why they are having those days.Our kids have things going on in their minds that they deal with just as we do.They may have issues at school, they may be dealing with feelings concerning things at home, they may feel down physically, or they just could be having a bad day.Sometimes they may not understand how to express their feelings.Kids must learn how to express their emotions appropriately; as parents, it is our job to help them do so.

 

  1. Repetition, repetition, repetition-

Raising kids usually involves quite a bit of repeating.We as parents like to believe that once we tell our kids something once or twice, that should be the end of it.We allow ourselves to think that these things will never have to be mentioned again because our kids should get it.Unfortunately, this is not always the case.I am in no way implying that there are not any kids out there who get things the first or second time and never have to be reminded again; however, I am saying that for many of us, this is a fairy tale.Kids usually have to be reminded, and parents have to repeat.If you are a parent that feels alone in having to keep telling your child or children the same things over and over again, please know that you are not alone.They will get it eventually; it may just take some time.

 

  1.  Kids will imitate-

So, this one was a big one for me.I could have never imagined how much becoming a parent would cause me to see who I really am!Many of us love to say; “Do as I say and not as I do”, but honestly we cannot expect that all of the time.Kids are created to be led and taught.If we are displaying hate, angry outburst, road rage, bad eating habits, a lack of interest in education and etc… then it is almost guaranteed that our kids will follow our led in some of these areas.I am not saying that they will follow everything, but they sure will pick up something.Just as they may imitate the not so good habits, they are also likely to imitate the really good ones.It is important that we are examples of love, kindness, patience, compassion, hard work, dedication, loyalty, honesty, and so much more.If we as parents are examples of these things, then it increases the likelihood that our children will be as well.

 

  1. “Why”  Is not always meant to be disrespectful-

Growing up in my era, kids were not expected to ask “why” but to just do as they were told.I have learned that kids asking the question “why” should not always be seen as disrespectful.Kids are inquisitive and sometimes they really desire an understanding as to why they can and cannot do certain things.We are dealing with a new generation of kids who desire a deeper understanding of the world.They want to understand how things work, why they work the way they do, as well as why we as parents make some of the decisions that we make.Kids are not yet abstract thinkers as we adults are.Therefore, we may be required to explain some things in order to help them understand.I am not saying that we as the parents are always required to give our kids a full explanation of things at the time they ask the question, however, I am saying that we must be open to know when and if we should.

 

  1. “I Love You” is a must-

Kids must be shown love; however, it is also vitally important that they hear the words, “I love you.”There are many adults who never heard those words as kids and as adults, they struggle with saying them to their children.Many of these adults realize how that not being told “I love you” affected them negatively and caused a void in their lives. Kids need to hear that we love them when we are happy with them as well as when we are upset with them.They need to know that our love is unconditional and is not based on how we feel at the moment.I have found that in moments of discipline it is important that I tell my kids how I love them.I tell them in private and in public.It is important that my kids hear these words on a regular basis and in the process, they too will learn how important it is to say, “I love you.”

 

Raising kids is one of the most important jobs we could ever have.While doing so it is imperative that we as parents remember that everything is a process. With every child, every age, and with every year, we as parents are walking new territory but so are our kids.It is normal to make mistakes, and it is okay to find our own way.