I’m very fortunate to have a good relationship with both of my parents. My mom is my best friend — I call her when I have great news to share, when I’m sad, when I’m worried, when I’m happy and when I want to talk about something… or nothing at all. That’s my mom in the photo above with my kids and me at Disneyland.
It’s really important to me to do everything I can to raise my kids so that we have good parent-child relationships as well. Raising kids in and of itself isn’t an easy task. It’s the hardest and best job I’ve ever had. It would be easier to be my kids’ best friend, which would make me quite popular in the moment, but then I wouldn’t be a good parent. I also believe that parents who are friends first may think they’re going to end up close to their kids in the end, but kids need boundaries and boundaries create respect — both things are important.
I’m a reader, which means when I want to know something, I turn to resources. Parenting, of course, is highly researched, written about, opined on and discussed – to death. For me, parenting is part instinct and part logic and part winging it. I’ve also had to do some things differently because my kids both lived in orphanages before we adopted them, and that changes the game in certain ways.
We could all list a million things that make good parents — and most would probably be correct. Here are a few that I really believe hold true:
You can’t spoil your kids with love. Children are spoiled by things, not love. I don’t believe it’s possible to hold a baby too much or love your child too much. I still hold my kids when they want or allow me to do so. They’re 3-years-old and 4-years-old and they know they’re loved because we show them. In my opinion, knowing you’re loved and cared for by you parents is one of the best feelings in the world.
Establish rules — and enforce them. Whether they’re simple rules, like no running around restaurants like wild animals (a must for me) or big rules, like always having a serious consequence for lying, kids need them. And when they’re broken, a consequence they were aware of ahead of time, such as a time out or the loss of a favorite toy for a while, needs to occur.
Respect is a two-way street. I expect my kids to respect me, but I respect them as well. Kids aren’t any different than adults in some ways, and one of those is the right to be respected.
I could go on forever, but I won’t! Instead, share with me your most important “rules” for parenting.