"I want my kids to be happy."
What parent hasn't uttered those words before when thinking about their future and the future of their children? I've only been a mom now for about 5 years, but I am constantly thinking about my kids, their happiness, and their future. I want what's best for them.But how do I know what is best for them? As we approach my girls' first year of school this fall, I am realizing that I don't really have any clue what is best for them. I can make a guess at what I think is best for them, but, ultimately, they will end up making a lot of decisions on their own. Without me.
I'm not quite ready to hand over all of that responsibility just yet (they are only 5 after all), but I realize now more than ever that what I can do to help them be prepared is teach them, inform them, and set them up for successWith two girls to raise, we do a lot of talking in our house. A lot. Even though I am also a girl, sometimes all that talking drives me bonkers. But in those moments of conversation, I have to take advantage of their attention and use it to teach them. Not a formal lesson, mind you, but simple lessons that you forget you are not born knowing. Where does money to buy things come from? Why is it important to pay attention to what and how we eat? Why do we have to brush our teeth every day? You would think children would just understand these things, but, surprisingly, they don't. It's up to us, the parents, to teach them.
I absolutely agree that being an example to our kids has a huge impact on the habits they form from now to adulthood. I also think an open conversation with kids, especially ones that internalize everything you say and "chew" on the information a while, is vital to having a lasting impact in their lives.Taking advantage of teachable moments is one of the most important ways we can influence our children to think about the choices they make. I am not a perfect parent, but if I have helped my children learn to think for themselves, then I think I will have done a pretty good job with them.