Being Strict versus Creatively Strict as a Parent

I call myself creatively strict, because if a super strict parent were to witness my day unfold, they would honestly see me as a not-strict parental unit. With that being said, I firmly believe that I am a creatively strict parent and I am going to explain what I mean by that. Please do read on…

Being Creatively Strict as a Parent

As a parent I often share my insight as to what I think a parents job is. Here is what I would use as a job description for a parent:

To teach life lessons and ways to learn from mistakes. Give positive praise to job well done when leading those under you. Enable those who are below your lead to learn lessons for each tasks completed and to live fully, freely and happily with common courtesy, respect, honesty and trust.

That is my simple definition or job description for a parent. I firmly believe it is our job to simply put; raise our children to be adults. Think about what type of adults you wish to interact with and learn creative ways to train your children to become those people. Yes, Gasp! I used the word train. I do think we train our children … that is just sort of my word for it.

Some rules we have in our household are pretty simple and straight forward, all it takes is a bit of common sense and a little bit of respect to follow these rules:

  • Agree to disagree - You will not always win every battle with siblings or other peers and you may not always understand why your parent said no. That is okay. You are not suppose to have a reason for every decline your parents give you, that is how the real world works, no one makes an excuse every time they say no to you. Sometimes agreeing to disagree is taking the higher road.
  • Be honest - share your thoughts and opinions with us, we want you to talk about what is on your mind. You are a child, yes, but you are also a human being who thinks for their own self. Share your honest feelings, thoughts and be truthful even when you fear a consequence will be given, I guarantee your honesty will make the consequence less severe.
  • Show Respect and Respect YourSelf – Starting with respecting yourself, you will not be able to fully respect others unless you respect your own self. When sharing your thoughts about something, remember to speak kindly and try not to yell or use judgement because respect gains you respect in return.
  • Love your Family – family will give you a run for your money, but we are all in this together. Always know and feel that love of a family even when days have gone sour. It’s that love and bond as a family that will carry you further into life.
  • Accept Consequence and Learn Something – Always use your time wisely, if you have a consequence for making a bad choice there was a lesson to be learned there. Figure out what that lesson is, don’t know what the lesson is? Ask your parent. We will be honest with you and discuss what we want you to learn from the discipline tactic we placed. Accept your consequence and trust we made that decision for a reason.

The best way to explain my creatively strict parenthood ways is to tell you that I have learned to treat my children with respect, dignity, and importance. While I am still in charge of those minors and I am still the Mama Bear, they are also human beings who deserve to know they are valued, they are loved and that they are an important piece of the family. I expect my children to use their words when upset with each other or me. I expect my children to be honest. I expect my children to make mistakes but admit those mistakes were made. I expect my children to stick up for each other, no matter how much they argue or fight with each other, their bond as siblings will matter so much to them as adults.

I put the fear of Mama Bear’s wrath into my children so they know all they have to do is be good, honest people and there’s little to fear. Break my trust, be unruly, rude or disrespectful to anyone then you will find your world will be turned upside down for a period of time! Be honest, kind, and respectful to reap awesome rewards, love and hugs and kisses! It’s that simple.

 

 

Rough and Tumble Play is Good for Kiddos

I have heard it before and actually was a natural at accepting that rough n tumble play is a good thing for these sons of mine. It is funny thinking back to the first days of these two boys being two years and six days apart, their first friendship was a toss on the ground to a wrestling match between the two. Chasing each other to give hugs and smiling as they enjoyed their brotherhood.


Video: My boys when they were younger enjoying each others company.

My sons can give others quite the scare, they are rough n tumble. Pretend punching, kicking, hitting and grabbing each other to wrestle to the ground or on my sleep number bed is a common occurrence in this household. And it’s good for them. Yes you heard me, rough n tumble play is good for them.

Rough n tumble play is okay because there are some things about it, it’s not aggressive play in that anyone is being taken advantage of, being hurt nor having their personal space being invaded. Rough n Tumble play is a non-verbal communication between two or more people (or children in this case) where they are happy, smiling at times and truly enjoying the rough nature of their playtime.

If you are a parent struggling with accepting rough n tumble play for your child, then read on!  I recently took part in a webinar with Mattel regarding rough n tumble play and would love to share with you some tips/facts about the topic that I learned -

  • Rough and Tumble play (R&T) is sometimes known as “roughhousing”.
  • R&T can involve chasing and fleeing, tag, falling on one another, or wrestling.
  • R&T is both a positive and necessary form of play for children, particularly for boys, who experience a spike in testosterone at around age four and need an outlet for their sudden feelings of playful aggression.
  • Gives boys an opportunity to learn their power, develop competence in their motor skills, and to imitate their role models.
  • Linked with academic achievement, giving children an opportunity experiment with concepts in the real world.
  • With R&T, there is an understanding of play and collaboration between the players – leading to far less injury.
  • If guided properly, boys learn the difference between aggression and this form of physical play.

As you know, I have two sons, which means I have to be sure to monitor all rough n tumble play to ensure it doesn’t turn into aggressive behavior. I am not 100% perfect at monitoring properly but I try and here are some tips provided to me for parents to be able to be a positive part in their children’s rough n tumble play experiences:

  • Set some basic rules, such as “no touching of faces” and “no shoes”.
  • Let children be in charge of making some of the rules and enforcing them.
  • Intervene only when the play turns combative; if parents intervene too often or too soon, children won’t learn conflict resolution on their own
  • Not sure if it’s playing or fighting? Ask the participants if they see the difference and if everyone agrees.
  • Parents should also engage in Rough and Tumble play with their children – whether its wrestling with Dad or “tickle fights” with Mom – the physical contact helps kids build relationships.

I love that last bullet point, why? Because that is how my four year old enjoys playing with me. K-man will ask to go have a tickle fight and just enjoys me being the “tickle monster” while I go crazy tickling him all over. I take moment breaks for him to catch is breath and then start tickling again. He loves this tickle monster time and it has truly brought us closer as mother & son.

The webinar I took part in with Mattel means that they will be sending my family some WWE Brawlin Buddies so that my kids can enjoy rough n tumble play while acting out with their favorite wrestling figures. Those products will be sent to me for free and I will be sharing more on our journey of rough n tumble play in the future here on site!

Do you allow rough n tumble play in your home? What are some things you do with your kids that encourage this love of physical play while being safe?

Stomach Upset Troubles While Travelling with Kids #culturellekids

While traveling with my family I always know that stomach troubles will happen. It seems when my kids travel with me for long trip destinations, such as our recent trip to York Beach, Maine my kids will usually hold having to go the bathroom more than they should on the car ride or while at the beach because they don’t want to miss a thing. My family decided to take along Culturelle Kids this time around which helps boost digestive health while also boosting immunity.

I hate that my kids refuse to go to the bathroom at rest stops along the interstate or while at the ocean, I mean I do make them go but I don’t understand why they hold it. Maybe it’s due to anxiety levels or just the fact that my kids tend to hold their bathroom breaks til the last minute if having too much fun. While flying kites, jumping waves and enjoying the playground in York Beach Maine, my kids really end up with stomach troubles. That is one thing I try to be prepared for when planning a long trip with kids, have something ready to tackle stomach upset!

Culturelle Kids will help to reduce occasional digestive upset, like what may happen during vacationing. Supports your child’s natural defenses and provides a solution for digestive discomfort and poor health. Culturelle Kids realizes that 70% of your immune system is in your digestive tract so a healthy and balanced digestive system plays a vital role in strengthening your child’s overall health and well being.

This is a great product to try if your child suffers from digestive discomfort as it’s #1 pediatrician recommended,  trusted by both parents and pediatricians.  I say you grab Culturelle Kids to help keep your kids immunity strong before that trip or before school time hits and their immunity is low meaning that they are more susceptible to back to school germs. As much as this is a great product to take along during family vacations, I am very well aware of school starting in the next month for most children.

When school starts the germs and bacteria run rampid when all of the kids first go back to school it seems they get sickies so much easier within that first couple of months. Culturelle Kids is a great way to promote healthier digestive track while boosting that immune system in your children before they are waving bye to you or snubbing you on their first day walking into school this year!

“I was compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.”

My Mind Always Goes Back to Helping Children

No matter what I do in life as a woman and a parent, I am drawn to helping children. I know there are agencies and nonprofit organizations to assist children but there has to be more that I can do. I think that working to uplift a child is so much easier than dealing with therapy as an adult. Maybe it’s because I had to fight so many demons to become who I am today that I hope to find a way to help deter such demons from coming to children.

Whatever the reason, I have a strong pull to help our future generation. This is why I sat down with my daughter and wrote a book loosely based on how my daughter and I interact. This isn’t a book to tell parents how to do their job, it is not an “I know all” book either, quite simply put; my book is the start of  series to assist children (mainly girls of the tween/teen age group) to think positive and to learn to love who they are. I think once a child has lost loving who they are or is faced with the pressure from peers they can easily get depressed and start doing things that they should not be doing.

If each child is taught how to love who they are, if each child is shown actions and words of encouragement, I firmly believe that the world can be such a sweet place in the future years. Not to mention children would be able to enjoy childhood much longer being able to learn how the power of their thoughts can change anything!

My book isn’t released to the public yet and this isn’t a way to promote my upcoming release of my book, this is me simply thinking out loud. I really want to find ways to write, volunteer and do whatever I can to help children. Of course, I start with my own three children each and every day when I wake up as “mom” but I know the power of positive can reach well beyond the walls of my home. This is why I have written my book and this is why I continue to blog, to help others in any small way I can. If you smiled today reading something I wrote then that time I took to write something was well worth it!

At What Age Did You Let Your Children Walk Stores Alone?

Being a mother of three children I will admit it’s difficult to keep your eyes on your children every waking moment, I mean I don’t have eyes all around my head but I do pride myself on giving the kids a bit of freedom while still keeping them within a safe distance should a bad stranger happen upon us.  My oldest is bright, intelligent, beyond her years but she is still not allowed to walk more than a a few feet ahead of me in local stores.

If we go to the local gas station that we frequent that’s a little different, the kids are always within ear shot and it’s a small enough store that I let them go to the drink coolers & grab their own drink without me being right there next to them. I can psychically see them from the front door/cashier area where I wait & it’s a familiar place for us all, even most of the full time workers there know my kids by first name.

My daughter is 9 and my sons are 3 & 5. Even my daughter who is rather mature for her age and quite responsible is not allowed to walk across our Walmart SuperCenter without me being near her. The other day her friend was over & her friend says “Let’s go to the toy aisle Ki, that’s where I waste my time when my parents are shopping” and I thought to myself “OMG are you kidding? What?!” Obviously I wasn’t judging her parents, I really like this kids parents but all I could think of was the fact that no way would two nine year old girls be “wasting time” in the toy aisle while I shop in the food section at least not on my watch. The food section and toy section are on two opposite sides of this Walmart SuperCenter and I wouldn’t have a clue if someone bad came along.

Maybe it is because of the life I have lived, to know that you can’t trust everyone especially strangers but more so you can’t trust some extended family members really, because you just never know who is a bad person until you get into that situation. I am sure my children will have their teen years to wander alone & be out with friends, I am just not ready for it at such a young age. I want my children to be safe while experiencing a little freedom; like walking a few feet in front of me not halfway across the store.

So, the question I have is;  What age did you let your children do this or do you think you will let your children do this?

Just Curious.

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