Friday, March 22, 2013

You Can Raise Terrific Kids Too!

Two times this week I had complete strangers compliment me on the way I deal with my children. It surprised me since there are so many times that I feel like I am a not the best parent; all of us feel that way from time to time don't we? Being a career mom causes these feelings more often than not because you are constantly torn between work and home. Do you take that freelance job and give up going to a school play? Or do you sacrifice the income to be there for your child? It's a tough call; one that I HATE having to make. It was nice getting complimented on my children... one was a comment on how well and patiently I explained something to my son (must have caught me on a good day, ha!) and the other was a comment on how amazingly positive and heartfelt my children are becoming because of the example I set. It touched me so deeply that it brought a tear to my eye allowing me to feel that I do okay after all... and of course it led me to writing this inspirational blog post.

I have worn many hats over the years, some were easy, some were hard, but I can honestly say that the "parent hat" is by far the most challenging, difficult, yet rewarding one of all. It's one thing to be responsible for your own actions, but the weight of feeling the responsibility of actions other than your own can be so intense; it's HUGE! (now multiply this times 4 and you have my scenario) As you know, (if you follow my blog) I have 4 beautiful children. My oldest who will be 21 next month (funny... because I am only 26) is in Colorado living out her dreams and making me prouder than proud, I have my strong-willed, artsy, creative 11 year old daughter, a blooming 4 year old boy and a precious little ball of smiles; I know that RAISING KIDS IS HARD! I also know that it's not rocket science. (mainly because if it was I would be failing miserable because I STINK at rocket science!)

I could go on and on... and on on this topic happily staying on my soap box all day long, but lucky for you my fingers are tired from a long day of tapping on keys while trying to change the world... so I am going to break down how to raise terrific kids in a top 10 list Letterman style, here it goes...

Top 10 things I feel it takes to raise terrific kids 

10. Show them love even when you are mad at them

9.Teach them that it's NOT about getting what THEY want, but about what they can do for others.

8. Teach them to set goals, and guide them through the planning process of achieving them. Teach them  never to give up until they can cross those goals off their list., even if they die trying to reach them.

7. Show RESPECT... give respect immediately, "earning" respect should only apply to people who have done something to lose it.

6. Teach them that to get what you want you have to WORK hard.

5. Realize NOTHING is free, handouts do NOT exist... (even if they do teach them they don't, trust me on this one!)

4. Even though you WANT to be their friend, you HAVE to be their parent.

3. Instead of saying "that's wrong" "that's not right" or "that's not how"... say "try again" ,"let me show you what to do" or "let's Google that!"

2. Teach them that it's OKAY TO LOSE! (winners MUST lose to appreciate a victory)

and the #1 thing you can do to raise terrific kids?........


Look, we are all human, we all make mistakes, but we need to share some of the stories of our ghastly mistakes with our kids instead of hiding those skeletons in the closet. It helps them relate to us better... if we "keep it real" then we show them that we are human... not just some alien species called parents that are here to ruin their lives and laugh about it. I did this with my oldest when all else was failing and that light bulb burned SO BRIGHT after that it could have guided a million ships through a Tsunami. It was a pivotal moment in my "teen rearing" and I will use it again on Baleigh (praying with crossed fingers and toes that it works the second time around as well as the first.)

Single mom's get a bad rap... we are often beat up and made out to be "poor,  pathetic, women" who are all alone raising disrespectful, latch key kids that will follow the same path we did. I am here to say that just like anything else... if a single mom's mission is to raise terrific kids, she is TOUGH enough, STRONG enough and most of all ABLE enough to GET IT DONE RIGHT!

I can only hope that ALL my kids learn from not only my examples but from my mistakes and apply it to their lives so theirs may be better. I am a survivor, I have had to tell them NO when every other parent was saying yes just to shut their kids whining pie hole. I teach my kids that if their pie-hole is whining then even if I COULD get them what they wanted, they just ruined that opportunity by whining. I love them to bits and they know this no matter what, and THAT is what is most important.

Have a phenomenal weekend!

My terrific kids (in no special order)

My Amazing Brie

Cierra (aka MINI-ME)