In response to Izzy’s “May I Write”
I should title this “Izzy, may I change the topic ever so slightly?”
So I don’t really have advice for writers. How could I tell others how to do what I can’t? Well, I can write, obviously. But I only blog and I’ve only been doing that for a couple months now. However, I am a parent. I’d say I’m a pretty darn good one, too, if I say so myself. So here’s my advice to parents.
1. Time is a gift. Give them your time.
The Berenstain Bears got the gimmies, so can our kids. It’s easy to fall into their trap, especially if they ask so nicely with their best manners. However, they’ll cherish the time you spend with them far more than that toy. Draw with them. Hide and Seek with them. Teach them to play a card game – War and Go Fish are super easy. Take them outside. The possibilities are endless. The more engaged you are, the less likely they are to go looking for trouble (in my experience, anyway).
2. Read to them. Teach them to read.
It’s the teacher in me, I guess. Read to them frequently. Teach them to read. Teach them to understand what they read. Bang is now three and a half and he has fourteen words on his sight words list. Some of them he can spell without his list. He could probably have more if we worked on it more often. But we get distracted playing “run and tickle”.
3. Inspire creativity
Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” In other words, knowledge only embraces what we have already learned. It’s our imagination to leads us to new understandings. Inspire your child’s creativity and you’ll build upon their imagination and who knows what you’ll learn!
4. Document. Funny things they say. Milestones and firsts.
We all know kids say the darnedest things. Write them down. Last year we had a jar and every time something funny happened, someone said one of their darnedest things or something memorable happened we’d write it on a scrap of paper and put it in the jar. Come December 31 or the New Year we opened the jar and read all the fun things we said and did over the past year. This year we have a book to put them in. Also, be sure to document when their firsts are – first time peeing (or pooping) in the potty, first lost tooth, first event (musical, sport, dance, etc…) I’m not very good at writing stuff down, so I rely on DW. Thanks, hon!
5. Don’t mistake who you are. (Thanks Izzy)
No matter how you parent, don’t think you are doing it wrong. We all get something wrong now and then. There is no “perfect parent”. Of course, there are some that might need a bit of help. We’re not here to judge them, though. But if your kids are happy, healthy, clean, fed and well rested, you’re doing all right. Never mind the latest trends, the latest uproars and do what is best for you and your kids (Except for vaccinations. Vaccinate your kids).
Lastly, you’re not alone. Whatever troubles you’re facing with your kids, there are hundreds more with the exact same problem. So please, check out the Parent Rap. They sum up parenthood perfectly.