I love my children with all of my heart, the day I became a Mother was one of the best moments in my life. What I wasn’t quite ready for was how hard parenting can be at times. I struggle with wondering if I am making the right decisions, am I building their confidence up while encouraging them to be independent? As if this wasn’t enough, let’s talk about the daily struggles, the name calling, the remote stealing and the general “he is looking at me – I don’t want him looking at me!” that you need to manage on top of just life.
Parenting is tough! As the Mom of two boys, I have had to learn quick what little boys like, how they play with each other and how they learn. They still shock me with the impromptu wrestling matches that make me cringe, the slide tackles while they play soccer that make my heart stop and the sucker punches thrown in (mostly) fun. 95% of the time they are laughing until one of them has decided they have had enough and that is when all craziness breaks out.
Here are some tools I have learned along the way to make the parenting journey we are on just a tad bit easier.
Understand your child’s emotions from their level. While fighting over the remote or a video game can seem like something silly to us, this is something that is important to them in that moment, there are a lot of underlying emotions going on. Trying to understand and talk our children through the emotions is just as important as the solution. Ask the questions about why they feel this way, why it’s important and let them know you understand them.
Set the rules before they play. This is a huge one in our home, before the kids can play on their video games we have rules on how they will share turns and the consequences for not sharing. The same goes for outdoor play. That way neither of them can act shocked or surprised when they break the rules and they have to deal with the consequences (usually video games go off or they need to chose a new sport outside).
Be a role model. Our kids watch us every second of the day, how we react to stress, something we don’t like, when we are sad, happy and everything in between. They also tend to copy our behaviours, even the undesirable ones. I can think of one perfect example, when our youngest was a toddler and we would go driving, I would occasionally yell at other drivers who cut me off, didn’t use signals, ran red lines and so on. It didn’t occur to me that he would pick up this behaviour until he was the one yelling at the other drivers first! Talk about a moment of horror for me. I quickly learned that I couldn’t be yelling at other drivers with him in the car as he was mirroring my actions.
Use television shows to reach your child. Cartoons have this way of reaching out to kids in a way that sometimes words can’t. Some great options are:
Learn all about Sibling Rivalry (a huge one in our home!) in episode one in season one of The Hive: Babee’s Room. In this episode, Buzzabee and Rubee compete over who Babee (their new sibling) gets to room with. Mom and dad must explain to Buzzabee and Rubee that Babee needs to grow up before she can share a room.
Responsibility (a huge topic I think in every home) can be seen in Episode One, Season One of Veggies Tales: Puppies & Guppies/Sorry We’re Closed Today. In this episode, Larry and Laura Carrot want to adopt puppies, but quickly learn it takes responsibility in order to watch over and care for a pet of their own.
What about the important topic of peer pressure as your child grows? Fuller House has you covered in episode six, season one: The Legend of El Explosivo. After getting grounded for sneaking off to Bobby Popko’s house, Jackson realizes he needs to stand up for what he knows is right and not give in to please his friend.
Parenting can be tough, no one doubts it – just remember that you are doing your best and we all have moments where we feel like we fail. Always remember – your child loves you no matter what! Keep up the great job parents!
Disclosure: I am a Netflix #StreamTeam Member and receive perks with this affiliation. All opinions expressed are my own.