Self reflecting as a parent is extremely important. There are a few imperative questions that every parent should ask themselves. Questions that are often left unaddressed. They linger in the air between parents and children, sometimes shoved carelessly to the side, sometimes never even recognized as important issues at all. Naively, these imperative parental self-reflections are often ignored.
It’s a known fact that children learn from example. In the long run, they remember things that are outside their ordinary routine. When something special, traumatic, or exceptionally fun happens it’s seared in their memories, usually forever… Unless it’s too traumatic, enough so that it’s repressed as a coping mechanism, of course. It’s the extraordinary things that stand out in a child’s mind that wind up making an impact on their being. Growth, acceptance, and development are routed by the in’s and out’s of certain human traits that our children learn from those closest to them.
If we were to think back to our own childhoods with certain emotions in mind, it can be said that we’d inevitably think of particular people and the extraordinary memories of our own. For example: One may think of comfort in childhood, and instinctively recall the guardian figure who rocked them to sleep, brushed their hair, and/or read them stories at bedtime. Another example: One may think of laughter as a child, and instinctively recall the funny relative that told them jokes or even a specific event when they laughed harder than any other time at that certain age.
As a parent, we must ask ourselves these questions: How will our children remember us? How do we want our children to recall our interactions when they’re grown? What kind of memories have we given our children that are worth being remembered? Are we being the exact parents that we want our children reflect on? What is it about us that our kids will remember the most?
In order to get to the place we want to be as parents, and to give our kids the kind of upbringing that we want them to recall bits and pieces of, there are certain traits to focus on. Here are just a few tips and tricks that can help our children learn from our example, and to grow by the remembrance of things that are important. If we want certain things to stand out in our kids minds from their childhood then we need to step up and make a conscious effort to give our children things that are worth remembering.
Showing our children compassion is extremely important. It tells them that we care for them. We hold them when they’re hurt, we wipe their tears when they cry. But is that enough? Our kids watch everything we do, and that includes the way we treat others. Loving them, and showing them compassion is obviously a necessary, but it’s also important to teach them how to be compassionate to other people in general.
Be kind to people, and let them see the reactions and what it means when we do so. We need to make a conscious effort to explain our emotions to our children, and make sure they understand how important it is not to make other people feel bad.
Another way to teach our kids compassion is to do something worth remembering while our kids are with us. Donating is a great way, maybe even something big enough to stand out. Something they’ll be able to look back on as they grow. Explain to them why we care about others needing that item more than ourselves. Make sure that it’s a positive experience for them and not a punishment.
Self-love and self-respect are arguably the most important traits to instill in our children. This is what confidence roots from. Tell them how smart and important and perfect they are every single day. We need to tell them how lucky we are to have them as our kids, and how we wouldn’t rather anyone else. Never assume that our kids ‘just know’ how much we love them, because it can be said that they don’t unless we tell them, and more importantly show them.
Also, and once again, we have to lead by example. When we love and respect ourselves it shows in everything we do. It shines brightly through our actions and choices. Be the pillar of self-respect and our kids will grow up knowing with every fiber of their being how important it is to respect ourselves. And vice-versa, if we consistently make self destructive choices, and disrespect ourselves with constant negativity, then they will inevitably learn that too. It’s imperative for our children’s future that they don’t look at life through self-loathing and/or self-doubtful eyes as being the norm.
Do something big for yourself, because you deserve it! Something that stands out above everything else and make sure you child sees this. They’ll love seeing you be the cause of your own happiness, and they’ll learn dearly from it.
We need to pick our battles. Kids need to see that we mean what we say, and we say what we mean. Our children are the future of this world, and it’s our job as the parents to see that we’ve done everything in our power to guide them into powerful capable beings. A great way to teach our kids something assertive that is worth remembering in a positive way, is a project.
Look for an assertive project that you can use as an opportunity. Something tailor made for your child that they’ll love to ‘work’ on. If your child likes to make things then help them build something big. Not just a little craft that they can throw together in a day, but something real that they can use and will be proud of themselves for completing. Something memorable. If your child is into sports then organize an event and let them help to plan and execute every single detail. And so on. You know your child, you know what they’ll enjoy.
Let them be the boss! Dedicate an entire summer to some sort of an assertive project that your child will learn from. It’ll give them a purpose and teach them how to be assertive with confidence as they grow. They need to know that you have faith in them and that they are capable. One important project from their youth that stands out can impact our children for their entire lives.
Happiness is huge. We need to have fun with our kids regularly. Laugh, joke, play, and pretend. Do silly random things. It’s a proven fact that children with uplifted spirits perform better academically. Their comprehension improves, and their attentiveness becomes more acute. Happy kids pay attention, and want to learn.
Day to day playfulness is extremely important, but so is the big extraordinary something that stands out. Do you want to be a part of the happiest and funniest memory of your child’s life? The memory they reflect on as their happiest moment of their childhood? Do something big, fun, and make it hilarious! It’s a bigger deal in the long run than we can even imagine. If nothing else then do it to see that perfect sparkle in their elated little eyes! It’s worth it.