Dear Parents of Small Children,
There are some things that are not told that should be told. You may hear that time flies and you will be left alone, so enjoy your kids. That is the extent of what we hear! My youngest turned sixteen yesterday. A brilliant young girl, soon to be a mama herself. Quiet and serene. We were always trying to make her talk more. People still want her to talk more. Do not people please! These are your children and no matter what well meaning family or friends say, these are your children and they will turn out well by example and a lot of love. Do not force them to be anything other than what they are. I sometimes wish I were as quiet as Emily. I often stick my foot in my mouth and wish I could just be quiet!
When the kids cut their own hair, laugh and take pictures. When they cut their hair thirty times, laugh and take pictures. She can cut her hair beautifully now and any and all making her feel bad from us or other well meaning family and friends was unnecessary and hurtful. Let kids be!
Should they draw all over the walls, take a picture, laugh, and perhaps join them. Maybe make a designated wall, maybe just get them a big sheet of paper, either way, paint is cheap.
Listen. Sometimes it is hard when they are bantering on about crazy ideas, but don’t interrupt, just listen.
Don’t spank. It is just you being mad and they know that. They will never remember what they did wrong.
Be outside as much as possible. Children thrive with sunshine, water, and air. Just like plants, they grow…and smile, and become great nature people. That is one thing I did right (I hope not the only!), no video games. They would say they were bored, then have half the neighborhood out exploring creeks and parks, and having a great time while making memories and became closer siblings.
Dinner at the table as many evenings as possible with real food. Not fake! No processed lab stuff, real food. Start a garden and have them help grow a few things so they know what real food is. You would be surprised how many kids (and believe it or not, adults) do not know what meat actually is or where vegetables come from.
They will become teenagers and no one warns you of the utmost desperation you will feel, your powerlessness, your broken heart. No one talks about this, but it happens to everyone. But as soon as you feel like you have been crushed, smothered, and broken hearted enough, they will come out of it and love you even more.
And as they get older, do notice for yourself as we do, that we anxiously avoid any well meaning family member that feels they have to lecture us about our life every time they see us. Past seventeen, your done. Enjoy. They are their own people!
Above all, even though you are human, try with all of your heart to say only nice things, only positive things, make lots of great memories, trips, holidays, family gatherings. As many hugs and kisses as you can muster, even if they are naughty….none of it matters. You will not remember it and if you do, you will laugh at the memory.
Just think….if they die tomorrow, will this matter today? The answer is probably not. I would love to go back and try again. But I know now that is why grandmothers are amazing and so loving! They figured it out! This is our second chance at loving kids and not worrying about what we are doing right or wrong.
So dear parents, enjoy the journey!