Monday, April 12, 2010

Parenting advice from ME!

I have a policy where I try not to offer advice unless it was asked for.  This even goes towards my kids.  My parents do this with me and I truly appreciate it...but I gotta tell you, it's difficult.  SO, all that advice that I have running rampant in my brain is now going to be spilled out onto my blog so I can move on.

#1  Don't give advice unless you are asked for it.  Seems like I just said that, doesn't it.  Well, it's good advice.  If you want a person to feel safe with you, be that safe person.  Just listen.  Emphasize with them.  Offer encouraging words.  Example:  Shem, "Mom, Todd never plays anything I want to play."  Me, "That's frustrating, isn't it."  Shem, "Yes!"  Simple, yet effective.  Example of someone asking for advice, "What would you do." 

#2  Allow natural consequences.  Example: I tell Todd to be careful when using the chair as an aide in climbing the tree because the chair might tip.  Todd comes running into the house holding a scratched up leg.  I clean out the wound, put a band-aide on it and give him a hug.  I DO NOT say, "That's what you get for not listening to me.  I told you what would happen."  Again, simple.  Yet, it requires you to hold your tongue.  I think the blood oozing from his knees is enough.  Your natural instinct is to say, "Nah! Nah!  I told you so."  You are not a child, you are an adult. 

#3  When your child ask you to come and look.  Go and look!  That means that your child thinks you are cool enough that they want to impress you.  So, let them impress you.  It doesn't take that long to stop what your doing for a minute and see what your child is doing.  You are their biggest fan--and they want to keep it that way.

#4  Don't sweat the small stuff.  Do you really want your life to be a constant battle?  Neither do I.  So make a choice to let it go.  Throwing rocks, not a good idea.  Throwing stuffed animals-okay.  You are carving a grown-up.  Do you want that grown-up to wound-up tight like Shem's shoelaces, or do you want them to enjoy life and to smile often?

#5  Love your child.  Kids act out for a reason.  Geneva was a cranky pants this week because she had to share my attention with a couple other kids (her brothers).  All she needed was 5 minutes of one-on-one and she was okay.  Yelling got me nowhere....Well, that's not true; I, too, reached Crankiville.  When Todd is hyperventilating about something, it only takes a calm parent to bring him back to his sweet self.  When Shem is cranky, he just wants someone to acknowledge his feelings.  SO SIMPLE!!!

Good parenting requires an adult to deal with a child.  Meaning, we, as parents, should be that adult and not some raving lunatic pointing out everything our child hasn't done that day.  As an employee, I perform better for the person who expects greatness out of me and tells me often how well I am doing.  Do we expect greatness out of our children?  Are we pointing out all the good things they are doing...or are we focused on that unmade bed?


  1. Very good advice!Some I needed to hear. I think sometimes I forget how to just sit back and enjoy the small stuff. Thanks for helping me remember:)

  2. good post. very good points. i have actually done some of these things on occasion! :) ha ha....ha.....

    i have to say this though: i have learned that life has thrown me some curve balls and i am not always at my best physically/emotionally/spiritually and have gone through some rough periods of time. i have not been the parent i have wanted to be. then i sailed into teenage-hood and it isn't like it is in the movies...but it has it's moments. which, by the way, i have handled some of those moments beautifully....and others not so pretty....i guess my point here is that i don't look at anyone's parenting picture and think that is really the parent they want to be or even the parent they really are....they could just be going through something super hard...i really want to feel instant compassion for the mom in the store that is YELLING at her kid "you put that down right now or else!!!!!" quite ineffectively....i want my heart to go out to her and pray she feels peace and things get better for her.

    i am SO WITH YOU on the advice thing!!! can't you tell??? ha ha!!!! sorry.....i really am....except for this one little comment...just this one little time....does this count as advice? ;) (grinning....sheepishly..hoping i don't sound like an idiot....)

  3. p.s. your kids are very lucky and very cute

  4. and i am glad you wrote this because it is always good to be reminded of these things i really do believe are true....

  5. Thank you! I needed the reminder.

  6. This is a great reminder and Misty, your comment as well. I actually had this experience this past Sunday. My first response was to get irritated at a particular parent and their form of parenting but I backed off and looked at things from other perspectives and when church was over I wanted to hug her and tell her she was doing a good job and to keep coming to church!

  7. My favorite comment, "If they're like this in public, I can only imagine what they're like at home." I always say to that person, "My husband is the same at home or in public. Some people are like that. They don't put on a show for us." Thanks for your advice, Misty, because I SO AGREE!!! I'd love to hear some good advice from all you all. Another piece of advice, don't beat yourself up when you slip. I give this advice but I only follow it a..well a percentage of the time. I'm trying harder!

  8. oh man, i know. i love people who are the same no matter the place they are in. that is a person who knows who they are and they are honest and real...and SECURE. it is my goal in life to be just one person. i am doing a TON better with it than i used to. in the past i have always wanted to badly to please whoever i was with at the time and ended up being someone i wasn't. i still have those tendencies...but i am becoming comfortable with who i am while still trying to become a better many balancing acts....sigh.....
    the best parenting advice i ever got: love them. everything else can go to the dogs. just love them. easier said than done some days. :) I really do love every point you make in this post. It has taken me years and years to finally get some of that...and I still struggle. Hopefully our oldest will be okay in the end...

  9. The best advice I was ever given was by my grandma. She told me that "if your kids want to be rocked to sleep...rock them. If they want to crawl into your lap and read a book....let them. One day they will be too big to be rocked to sleep or to fit in your lap and be read a storie and this time of your life will only last for one min." I look and my oldest child and wounder where time has gone.
    Lyndee your post really was once again just what I needed...and the comments....I need thoes too. Its easy to judge somestime because everyone has such diff. styles in parenting. But what PMc said is so true! After the last year I can totally relate to responding to my kids in way I normally wouldn't thanks to stress. And I've gone to bed on more than one night and wished I'd handled something better or diff. LOL the only thing that keeps me going is the moments I've done something right:)
    Ok so I've take up way too much space but just a cute sories and I'll Go! Last night the power went out at my house. Its our spring break and my boys were at there aunt and uncles for the night and my cute girl got to hang with just me and dad. It was so fun...the three of us layed in bed and told actually she told us stories....then she turned to me and asked "mom is ghosts veggiterians "(ok cant spell that sorry)LOl my reply "uhhhh yes I think they are" :)

  10. Okay....have you been spying on me? J/K
    Awesome post Lyndee. All good reminders that I constantly need reminding of. Do you think you can repost this next week too? :)
    Serioulsy, good thoughts!

  11. Melissa, you've got to be wondering if this was stressing her out before. I'm sure you have reassured her and she will no longer have to worry whether she's the next meal for that ghost. And yes, Natalie! You were my muse (am I using that word correctly). All my good inspiration comes from people like you.

  12. so I guess it's time to get off the computer and read to or play with christopher...

  13. You are a wise woman! Thanks so much for the advice- something I really need to remember- especially when my husband is gone- not to get too wrapped up in all the adult stuff and forget the parenting stuff!


I love hearing from you!