6 Things I Will Never Do To My Future Kids8:00 AM
You take one step, your child takes another.
They say "never say never". They also say no book nor class can ever prepare you for motherhood and raising kids.
But reading mommy blogs and talking to my mommy friends made me also realize that it is a deliberate decision how you want to talk to or act around your kids. Not just an instinct-driven choice. And it inspired me to write this post.
I salute all mothers who use all their willpower to control their temper and not lose their ish when things go really loud and wild inside the house. It's funny how they write about their experiences, but I'm sure it's not funny at all when chaos happens.
You are all real heroes!
6 Things I Will Never Do To My Future Kids
I will never compare my kids with another, even with their siblings.
I'm sure some parents mean well and think that comparing their kids would motivate them. But the subliminal message of comparing is: "You are not good enough". Or "unless you be like or be better than this kid, you will never get my approval."
I will, through God's grace, make it clear to my children that they are beautiful and worthy of love. They may have to change and improve some areas in their lives but that is part of growing and coping. The only person they need to compete with is themselves. The only record they need to break are their own.
They must know that they are loved by me and by God exactly the way they are.
Laugh at them
I will never laugh at my children's dreams and mistakes.
They may go through a stage where they will have crazy big and even silly dreams (my friend's son wanted to make finding spiders in the woods a profession when he was around five), but they will either outgrow them or they would know better soon enough.
Besides, isn't that what being a child is all about? Working with your creativity and seeing the world with wonder?
For children, anything is possible because no one told them yet otherwise. And I believe we should never stop encouraging them from honing their creative side.
Children are bound to make mistakes because that's how they'll grow and improve. There's nothing to be embarrassed about. The important thing is that they learn from it.
We all had one ridiculous dream when we were kids. We all made mistakes. We all are still making mistakes. But we all turned out okay, right?
Make them feel aloneI will never make my children feel alone as long as I'm there.
The worst kind of loneliness is feeling alone while you're surrounded by people. I vow to make my children feel secure, loved, and cared about as long as I'm alive. Maybe even after that.
I want them to know that they can always count on me to be there, to listen without prejudice or criticism. They will always have a place to come home to, and that someone's there waiting for them and ready to welcome them with a hug no matter where they've been or how long they've been gone.
Having encountered different kinds of people from school to work, I've realized that the reason many kids feel lost and take the wrong path so to speak is because they don't have a sense of belongingness. They don't know who to turn to when things go wrong. They don't have a home to welcome them where they'll feel safe and loved.
I will never shelter them from reality.
Some children grow up as brats because that's the way they were raised. Their parents managed to block the truth from them and filter the negativity. Of course it's natural for parents to be protective but we should never underestimate the children's understanding and wisdom.
I think exposing them to the truths in life earlier will make them open-minded, cautious and empathetic.
Example, bring them to outreach programs, let them see that poverty is real, educate them about the state of the planet or how cruel some people could be to animals and people.
They must know that not everyone they meet have good intentions. Friends may betray them. Some people are broken and it's not their job to fix them.
They have to know that a rose may be beautiful but it also has thorns that can prick if they're not careful.
Shame themI will never shame them especially in the public.
Shaming your kids in public (or even in private) is the same as taking away their self-esteem, making them question their self-worth and killing their self-respect and dignity.
One time I was dining out with my sister and 3 tables away from us is a mother chastising her teenage daughter, calling her stupid repeatedly. They seemed unaware that all eyes and ears were on them.
Who knows how long that girl would carry the label "stupid" around and live up to it?
I will never stop sharing my faith with my kids.
I will introduce them to Jesus, make Him real to them, talk about Him like He's some cool friend they could always run to and follow as an example.
The reason why most people don't feel a connection with God is because they see Him as a distant, cruel king sitting at his throne the whole day waiting for someone to punish.
They don't know that Jesus will never condemn them (John 8:11). God loves them more than they could ever comprehend (John 3:16). And that His love for them is always fresh (Lamentations 3:22). Not just crumbs or leftovers from yesterday but always whole and new.
With these guidelines, by God's grace, with support from the people around me, reading mommy blogs all the more, and lots and lots and LOTS of trial and error, I think I can manage to raise children well enough.
So help me God.
Got parenting advice?