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ABC’S OF PARENTING SERIES
The thirteenth part of our ABC’s of Parenting Series is The letter M.
The letter “M” has a full range of words that relate to Parenting! Below is a small list that we think are important while dealing with our kids. We have included our thoughts, tips and tricks related to the letter M.
Kids naturally think in magical terms. They truly believe they can change the things around them with their thoughts and they believe in fairy tales and magical creatures. Somewhere around the age of 8 they seem to lose that belief and move towards more concrete thinking, which is sad. It is like a loss of innocence happens.
As parents, we can keep the magic alive by allowing our children to believe in it. Let them grow up holding onto every piece of magic they can, let them enjoy their creativity and use their imagination. This world could use a little more magic!
Never go to bed angry with your child. Learn to apologize and move forward. A kid doesn’t need to go to bed thinking you are angry with them. Think of the lost sleep they will have. Find ways to make up after a fight, disagreement or argument. Own your part in the issue and show your children how to move forward after troubling situations.
Make up new games that you can play with your kids. Make up songs and rhymes. Find new things to enjoy by making up new things to do! Be creative and come up with new stories and ideas. Teach your kids to use their imagination by using yours. Have fun with each other!
Mental, physical and emotional maturity are all very important in development. Maturity comes with time and life experiences. When you overcome challenges and as you age, you naturally become more mature.
Some signs of maturity are being able to keep your commitments, being able to accept critcism, understanding what flattery is, thinking of yourself less in situations and prioritizing others needs before your own. Also, being able to make decisions based on what is right and wrong rather than based on feelings, showing and expressing gratitude, being teachable and understanding you do not know it all.
Every experience we have shapes our brains. Our memories have developed us into the people we are today. We may forget certain memories, but those moments have formed our whole identity. With this, our children are shaped by their memories. They may not remember every moment from when they were babies or toddlers but those experiences, they lived through shape them. Be sure to give them strong and positive memories to help shape them into strong and positive beings.
You must take care of your own mental health as a parent. Understand your own needs and make sure they are being met. If you need professional or medical help, seek it. Make a commitment to yourself to take charge of your own mental health.
There are so many things we can do to ensure our children have healthy mental health. Teach them to talk positively about themselves. Allow them to have independence and to make mistakes. Find opportunities to give real praise. Show your children affection and treat them with kindness. Listen when they are talking to you. Don’t listen to respond, actively listen to them. Pay attention to their ups and downs and learn to recognize their highs and lows.
Find your balance! Can messy and clean co-exist in the same house? Learn to be organized in your mess. Minimize as much as you can. Get rid of broken and outgrown toys. Sell or donate outgrown clothes. Teach your kids to pick up after themselves or before bed. Find a routine.
Cleaning all the time takes away from playing with your kids. Instead of vacuuming you could be singing songs. Always remember, clutter can be good for your child, it gives them more stimulation. Being too clean can be unhealthy. Kids need to be exposed to things to build immunities.
Time just for you? Find time to do something that you find enjoyable! Make a list of the things you want to do. Pick one of those things and make a plan to do it. Make time for it to happen, schedule it in. Prioritize it as being important. Make it happen! Me time is so important to our mental health.
With this, allow your kids some me time too. They need to do things that are enjoyable just to them. You can go through the same steps to ensure they are getting what they want. Have them write a list, help them develop a plan, build the time into your busy schedule and make it happen for them.
You are your child’s first influence. They look at you as a role model. When they grow up, they want to be you. Do as I say not as I do is a joke. Kids learn from watching you, not from listening to you. Role model the behavior you want to see out of them.
If you think about your children’s behaviors and you really break them down, you can see what role you play in those behaviors. Think about the things they do that you love and find your influence on those things. Next, think about the behaviors that drive you crazy. Really look at where those stem from. Can you see your part in them?
Saving, spending, sharing. Form healthy habits with money and teach good thoughts around it. Teach kids about money from a very young age. Let them be involved. Show them how to budget and how to make good financial decisions. Talk about money openly around your children so they understand the role money plays in life.
A great way to work on money skills is through food. It is something every family must think about. When you allow your children to be a part of the process of the food, you will have so many teaching moments. Allow them to help you meal plan, look at the items you already have, make a grocery list, talk about the budget, follow through with the shopping and then make the food.
We all have our own standard of right and wrong. Our morals guide our thoughts of what is acceptable and how we make decisions. We all develop morals over the course of our life, and they change and strengthen with time and experience. They develop into our moral compass.
Teaching your children about morals happens with rewards and punishments and through modeling reactions and interactions with others. When you engage in discussions about right and wrong you also help give your child a sense of what is right and what their responsibilities are.
Goal setting and making plans help instill a motivated mindset. Celebrating the good things and rewarding the effort more than the outcome will help teach children to be more motivated. Find ways to be competitive in your home, competition teaches how to win and lose and sets a child up to work harder to win. Allow them the chance to lose too though, they need to be able to handle the failures just as much as the successes.
Always show your child you are interested in their projects, and ideas. Help them discover their passion and give them the tools needed to be successful as they pursue their desires. Give them the opportunities to develop their interests into lifelong hobbies.
What kid doesn’t love a good mystery? It gives them the opportunity to experience fear and to understand what danger looks like, but they get to do it from a safe distance. There are so many great mystery stories for kids and you can also create fun games at home that involve solving mysteries you have created.
Of course, we can’t forget those mystery boxes, you know the toys that you don’t even know what you are getting. Kids go crazy for those. They make fun presents for any holiday or just because moments. You can buy them premade or you can get crafty and have fun making your own.
NEXT UP – THE LETTER N
BACK TO – THE LETTER L
What is your favorite parenting word that starts with the letter M? Feel free to share in the comments!
A fun post about me time from Mom Life with P is What Self-Care Means to Me. She rounded up 10 blogging moms and asked about what they do for self care. Be sure to check it out!