I am a single mom and this is a new segment for my blog site. I think that this new generation of parent has some things a little mixed up and they are not realizing that in raising children there is a cause and effect cycle going on. A lot of things that we do with our children, say to our children and allow them to experience has an impact on them that extends beyond that situation and well into adulthood. Our crafting of their personalities determines the type of person they are going to become.
One of the greatest compliments that I ever receive is for someone to comment on my son’s manners. If you ever meet my son, you will realize that he is… let’s say… full of energy… but I have learned how to work with his energy rather than working against it. I have also learned that he needs to be able to make choices about certain things in his life. These are not generally important, life altering decisions but little things like whether he will have a banana or strawberries for a snack or whether we will bake apple cinnamon or banana nut muffins for breakfast. Some people may say, what difference does it make? He should eat whatever you cook. This is true. I don’t go so far as to let him dictate what happens in our lives but letting him start with the small stuff and work his way up to the big stuff is building on his confidence. It is also teaching him what it feels like to be heard and respected for what he has to say.
I see so many children that you can tell have no voice in their worlds. They don’ t feel like anyone hears them. I love to give children hugs. Not because I am some psycho child lover but it just lights up a child’s face to know that someone cares, even if for just a millisecond. My son is very (almost too) socially adjusted because I work hard to create a safe and stable environment for him. Giving him the freedom to make choices not only builds his confidence but it also helps him to develop a process to reach conclusion. Imagine that child who has not ever had the opportunity to make a choice. At some point she will be thrust into the world with no process for making decisions. The only thing she will know is what she has seen. The probability is greater that she will repeat what she has seen versus choosing to do something different.
Our children deserve to be equipped for all the life is going to throw at them. Check back regularly for tips on surviving in the (mommy)hood.
Disclaimer: children do not come with instruction manuals. I, too, am figuring this out as I go along. Let’s pray for a healthy turn out 🙂