The washer is fixed (Hallelujah!) and so now we begin the process of digging out from the incredible mounds of laundry. Plus, the Christmas pageant rehearsals begin this morning. So, another cheater post. Here is something I wrote ages ago. Enjoy.
I attended a baby shower and we were all instructed to give our best parenting tip to the new mother. I like to give advice, so just couldn't stop at one tip, but wrote 10. Here they are:
1. Look for the humor -- Being able to find the humor in a situation helps to make the stressful more bearable. Just realizing that someday the current crisis will be funny can help.
2. Hug your child everyday and say, "I love you" -- Don't assume that your child knows you love him; say it and show it everyday. Sometimes bad behavior is just a way of saying, "I don't feel loved."
3. Be the grown-up -- You are the person who needs to set rules and limits with the corresponding consequences. Your child will have plenty of friends, but she needs you to be the adult. Boundaries help a child to feel secure.
4. Find friends who are at your stage in life -- Friends provide companionship, advice, and a dose of reality. It is so comforting to call a friend and have her assure you that no, your child has not come down with a case of the plague.
5. Find mentors -- Look for women whose older children you admire. Spend time with them and learn from them; their experience and wisdom are invaluable.
6. Read to your child -- There is no downside to sharing stories with your children, but the benefits are legion. You are spending time together, setting the stage for later reading, and expanding their horizons.
7. Imagine the future -- Ask yourself, "Will this be cute when he's 9?" Poor behavior you might think is cute in a toddler is usually not attractive in an older child. Nip bad habits in the bud while your child is still young (and you can still pick him up).
8. Create memories -- Look for ways to do special things with your family. Occasionally that may take the form of special trips or expensive events, but most don't have to be. Look for ways to turn the everyday into something special.
9. Develop family traditions -- Traditions are one of the things that make each family unique. They help to slow us down and to spend time with each other. They can become anchors throughout the year, especially when life gets hectic.
10. Regularly attend your place of worship -- If passing your faith on to your children is important, then they must see that your faith is important to you. Remember that actions really do speak louder than words. Just saying something is important without doing anything about it won't work.