Wednesday, February 24, 2016

What are you teaching your children?

Lately finding time to write a blog has just been impossible. I am far too busy throughout the school day and we just shut our internet off at home this week. Not to mention I haven't even been taking my laptop back home lately, because I know it is completely pointless. I so very ready for Spring Break to arrive and some actual free time to come my way! Another reason I have struggled has been somewhat of a "writer's block" situation. I come up with things I want to blog about, but either can't put my thoughts together or am afraid what I have to say is too direct for some people.

Being a teacher has taught me sooooooooo many things. While I have only been a mother for just over two years, I have been a teacher for 6 years. In those 6 years I have learned so many things about parenting that make me strive to be a better parent. I know all of my teacher friends can relate! There are so many heartbreaking things that we see as teachers that make us realize how good we have it and what we are determined not to do as parents.

When I seem to get frustrated with the world around me, I find myself looking on Pinterest for quotes that say how I feel or what I am thinking. Maybe a silly thing to do, but I refuse to post anything on Facebook about my somewhat negative thoughts and this just lets me come up with something. I ran across the above Jim Henson quote that fit so well in to what I was thinking. 

So many times as parents, we are so busy trying to teach our kids to do things that we forget that they are learning more from watching us everyday than we will ever be able to teach them. So I had to stop and ask myself, "Am I teaching Cole to be who I want him to be by my daily actions?" I think that is something that as parents (and even those of us who are teachers) need to stop and think about more often. 

When thinking through this there were a few conclusions I was able to come up with. Cole will know what the value of hard work is. He already has his own "chores" or jobs that helps us with, but more importantly he will know what hard work is because he sees it from both of his parents on a daily basis. Josh and I are always working to make our lives better. We are busting it to make farming a reality all while work full time jobs. Cole may only be two, but I know he already sees it. There is not time for laziness in our lives right now. He sees that too. I see SO many kids at school (in the last 6 years) who do not know what hard work is like. Some of them do not even know what it is like to work! They sit around and expect to get by with whatever they feel like doing or only putting in minimal work. I am always asking myself how I can help these kiddos. I seldom find a way to "change" their mind set, but how can I expect them to see the value in hard work when they don't see that from the people who brought them into this world? I can't. 

No, I don't mean all parents should be working multiple jobs and showing their kids how hard it is to be an adult. I mean that parents should be a model of what they want their kids to be. You want your kids to have chores such as doing the dishes or their own laundry? Then you have to set the example for them! If you never wash a dish or put your own clothes away, what is that teaching your kids? That is teaching them that they should not have to do it either, because they see that when they are adults like you are that they will have the choice NOT to. Again, the same goes for school work. If you are not a hard worker and your kids see you often quitting in the middle of things or with no desire to work, they are going to have the same attitude. 

I guess it really comes down to YOU as a parent! Are you setting your expectations for your kids to be higher than the expectations for yourself?? I know that my expectations for Cole in life at age two and at age twenty-two will always be sky high. I also know that he will be able to achieve anything and not be afraid of hard work, because he will have grown up seeing his parents always giving everything their all. It is my wish for that boy to always know how loved he is and that his parents are working in every way to make his life a great one. I hope that we can all say that for our children!

Looking back, one of my firsts posts was about me being "That Mom." The frustration I feel when someone acts as if their child is an inconvenience is explainable. In that post I expressed my feeling of how I love my child and hate spending any time away from him. (Check it out if you haven't!) So one of my recent frustrations has been from people who act like their children are nothing more than an inconvenience to them! There are so many childless mothers out there that would LOVE nothing more than to be the one carrying your child or taking care of the ones you already have. So for the love of all of these mothers out there STOP COMPLAINING!!! Enjoy the time that you have to be with those children and find ways to appreciate their successes and their positive features. As I said in the beginning of the post, your children are learning from YOU! If you want them to grow up to be caring husbands and wives and loving parents, SHOW THEM WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE!! 

No child benefits from being neglected. Avoiding your children and pushing them off on someone else is teaching them that they are not a priority. If they are not a priority in life, they will not obey or listen to you as if you were a priority. I just wish ALL parents understood this. This is something that as a teacher I have seen from so many of my students. They have no respect for their parents or just have no relationship with them. Have we ever just stopped and thought to ourselves that we NEED to be that example for them?? As a teacher (and a mother) I strive to be that adult that they can learn from. While I am far from perfect, I am a positive role model for them. I love nothing more than seeing the joy in their faces when I run into them. The same goes for me as a parent. I love that my son loves to see me. I love that he gets so excited for me to pick him up. I love to see the love that he is shown on a daily basis come through in his actions around his friends.

Moral of this long and wordy post, BE THE EXAMPLE YOU WANT YOUR KIDS TO BE! Don't expect them to be something that they don't see in you. Want them to work hard? Show them the true meaning of being a hard worker. Don't force on them so much hard work to make life easier for you. Give them work they can be proud of and make you proud of. Don't set a bad example for them. After all they are a true blessing and not an inconvenience! 

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