Sunday, October 23, 2016

Tips from "grown up" moms

I recently asked a few of my mom friends that I really respect and who have children who are a bit older then mine what they wish they'd known or wish they would have done when they had kids my kids' ages. Here were their tips!

Are you a veteran mom? Have something I should add? Please leave a comment!

  • Stand firm without showing anger. 
  • Hold them accountable but give plenty of grace. 
  • Don't say it if you can't enforce it. 
  • Apologize often, forgive freely, be humble, speak softly, look them in the eye, make them look you in the eye. 
  • Have them get in the habit of confirming everything you say with 'yes Ma'm'. That way they can never give the excuse that they didn't hear you. 
  • Things will never be fair. They may as well understand this early. When my kids say something is not fair, I agree and say we don't want fair because it wasn't fair that Jesus paid the price for my sin. 
  • Don't let them complain about being bored. Don't get angry. Just calmly say: "That's great because I need help with such and such." They learn quickly not to be bored, haha! 
  • Their world should revolve around yours and yours should revolve around God
  • Be intentional about praising them on heart issues. If you want them to believe that it's what's inside that counts then praise them for their tender heart or unselfishness or hard work. They will get praised plenty from others about being beautiful or having a cute dress.
  • Put them to work and make them feel like you rely on them. Like they contribute to the family and are irreplaceable. Say things like "What would I do without you?" Watch their faces when you say these words. They beam with pride!
  • Don't comprise on TV and movies. Don't allow your children laugh or be entertained by sin that God hates. 
  • Pray pray pray. Thank God for allowing you to raise his children and beg him to step in with his strengths where we are weak. 
  • Don't be in a rush all the time. Slow down. Listen to them. Laugh with them. Cry with them. Hold them.  
  • Pick your battles and then win them only if it's important. 
  • When you discipline be firm not angry, consistent not unreasonable, disappointed not hateful. Give them every opportunity to succeed. Try not to put them in situations that you know they will fail in. 
  • When they make a mistake, don't say they are bad or shame them. Assume they are good. Say something like, "what's up Abigail? That's just not like you to hurt your sisters feeling?" If we tell them they are good often, it becomes who they are and they will live up to it. 
  • Remember, consequences are not supposed to be pleasant. If they are unpleasant, you will find that they will not get in trouble as often. Then everyone is happier all the time. For example, if speeding tickets were just $10, who would slow down?
  • Here's a little piece of advice that is common sense but someone had to tell me. When feeding kids meals, don't fill up your kids plates with huge servings of their favorite foods and then put a dab of their less than favorite on the side. They will just fill up on the favorite (i.e. Mac-n-cheese) and then you will have to beg them to eat the green beans. Start with a small serving of each on their plate then when they finish all, give them as much of their favorite as they want. It took me 3 kids to learn this! 
  • Let each of your kids know often that you choose them. Something like, "Hannah, I am so blessed. If God lined up all the three-year-olds in the world and let me choose one, I would choose you. Wonder how he knew that?" It never fails to bring a smile.
  • Let the kids see you love on their Dad and vice versa. As they get older, they will give you the respect that john gives you and John the respect that they see you give him. It's all about actions not words. 
  • Do as much together as a family as is possible: family dinners, vacations, day trips, game nights, etc. It gets harder as they get older but still make the time because it goes by so quickly and you want to establish that family unity which will, hopefully, make them want come home after they leave.
  • In the difficult times, remember that this isn't the end of the story. God is and will continue to work in the lives of our kids, just as He does in ours. Ultimately, He is the one who shapes their hearts. So don't give up, remain steadfast, and be encouraged!
  • Be willing to apologize when you've said and done something wrong or hurtful. My father did this and it made a huge impact on me. Be real--own up to your imperfections (they'll see them anyway.
  • I wish I had been more quick to pray with our kids over specific concerns and just regarding all of life in general.

1 comment:

Joia said...

This is Fantastic!!! I saved it to my desktop! Thanks for sharing!