My Incredible Daughter – Raising Beauty Inside and Out

My only daughter is also my first born child. I am also the first born child so I know with that role in the family comes a lot of expectations and a leadership type personality, in most sibling cases. I could not be more proud of my daughter, as she grows older she only grows more beautiful inside and out. Some may say I am bragging, but to me, I am not bragging, I am simply sharing how proud I am of my daughter as I do with all three of my children. Being proud of your children and showing them you are proud of them only encourages a deep level of love for their own self. It’s much easier to build up a child than it is to fix an adult they say and I believe it to be true.

Raising Well Rounded Daughter HappilyBlended

My daughter is the first child who I can see if my parenting style and techniques worked or not, not every child will take to the type of upbringing that my child took to, but here are some tips I would like to share to help raise your own child to become self confident and happy:

  • Listen to anything they have to say from day one. Allow their feelings to be important to you, whether you feel the same or not.
  • Have open communication be acceptable across the board between your child and yourself. Allow those risky off the table topics such as sex, drugs, alcohol and boys/girls be an open topic in your household from day one.
  • Teach a sense of self value, do not spoil your child with materialistic items in a way that devalues the true importance in life, human interaction and family unity. Do things with your child from day 1; read books, play board games, etc.
  • Make your child feel important; always be sure that your actions show your child that they are important to you regardless of whether they were naughty or not. Always show love through actions rather; actions speak louder than words!

Raising Well Rounded Daughter HappilyBlended

I have encouraged my daughter to be her own self, to stand up for who she is and to realize true happiness in life is found within. My daughter knows that it doesn’t matter what anyone else, feels or does to cite they may not approve of her, my daughter is happy within herself. This adorable girl, who is 11 years old now, is well beyond her peers in an emotional and comprehension level basis. It amazes me daily how far beyond her years she is in comparison to her peers; remember to encourage innocence to stay as long as possible with your child but also keep door open to the fact that they do grow up. Open communication from day one helps to ensure you know what’s going on with your child at school or other places outside of your home.

Raising Well Rounded Daughter HappilyBlended

Introduce your child to all sorts of activities, crafts, latch hook, reading, writing and instruments or dance lessons, sports etc but do not force them to partake if it doesn’t interest them.  Give your child a say in what activities they really enjoy, there is nothing worse than when I see a child who is on a sports team but his/her heart isn’t into the game. The act of forcing a child to live through your dreams you had or never had is not the best way to encourage independent thinkers. Remember, these children will grow up to be adults and parents one day too, teach them compassion, love and common sense above all, make sure they have confidence to stand up to you. Yes. I said it. Teach your child to stand up for what they feel is right vs wrong, even when it applies to you as a parent.

Raising Well Rounded Daughter HappilyBlended

The area I am currently working on with my daughter is to ensure she is speaking her mind and speaking up for what she feels is right versus wrong without getting that tween attitude involved in it. This is a time of hormone changes and sometimes they do take over, after all she is female, that is part of our world. I work hard now to remind my daughter that it is acceptable to speak up to her elders for what she feels is right but she must always speak up in a polite respectful way. So far, she is doing a pretty good job with an occasional hiccup where she will say “Mama I know I sort of showed attitude but I tried not to. It’s just that I was so frustrated.” That is half the battle there with any human being, teaching them to admit their own faults and work on them to be a better person every single day of their life.

I am proud of my daughter, who by the way, just received High Honor Roll both 1st and 2nd quarter this year! Raise ‘em right and you will have a long lasting relationship with your child, well into their adult years.

What tips do you have for raising children? What has worked for you to uplift your children?

Pick up a copy of the book, Positive Girl: The Power of your Thoughts today on Amazon.com, co-authored by Brandy and her daughter. It is only around $5.39 right now on Amazon.

That Moment You Realized, “I done Good”

This right here is my daughter. My lovely first born and only daughter. My sweet, lovely first born child and only daughter is at “that age”, and parents, I know you know what I am talking about! That age where hormones go flying, your child becomes someone you don’t know and things are a bit testing at times. It’s an age of changes across the board …. friendships, relationships, body image, hormones and much more!

MY Awesome Daughter

What I had hoped would happen but didn’t really expect to happen during this age of changes, keeps happening!

The other day I had an “I done good” moment with my daughter.

It went something like this ….

Daughter says, “So my friend {name left out for privacy} the other day was sitting at a table with a bunch of kids I know don’t like me. She told me she was clenched fist mad because they kept talking about me. She said she kept telling them not to talk about her friend like that and she was so angry with them.”

I reply, “oh wow, so she gets really upset when people talk about about you, huh? I suppose your friend {again name left out for privacy} was just trying to stand up for you because she sees you as a great person, right?”

Daughter says, “I guess so but she really needs to stop. I told her that I already knew that group she was sitting with doesn’t really like me, I don’t care that they don’t like me, it doesn’t bother me one bit. If they don’t like me, that is their choice and I am okay with that.”

I reply, “huh. Well guess I taught you well. I am happy to see you are this confident. I love you.”

Honestly, I wasn’t quite sure what to say because at that moment, my daughter sounded exactly like I have sounded all of these years raising her. I have often told my daughter, who gets upset if her Dad {or anyone} talks badly about me, that “I don’t care what anyone, including your Dad thinks of me or says about me. Anyone who knows me will realize the lies others say about me are untrue. Those who don’t know me and wish to judge me based on what others say are not worth my time nor my energy.  No matter what mean things people say, it doesn’t change who I am in my heart. I am who I am and I am awesome, others can make a choice to love me, like me or hate me. I cannot control how others judge me.”

I lived my life in such a confident way that it has allowed my children, specifically my oldest & only daughter, to see and understand that others cannot break us, others are not able to allow us to feel anything unless we let them. I have lived in such a way that is now showing it’s true colors through my daughter. She has seen me overcome so many hurdles, she watches me respond and interact with other adults in a way that encourages a positive mindset and high self esteem.

I couldn’t have been more jaw dropped proud in that moment hearing my daughter sound just like me and I can only hope she continues on this positive path of loving who she is.

I Became Guilty of Being Somewhat Lazy

I guess using the word lazy isn’t really fair when you think about being Mom to three kids and working from home, but it’s the only word I could really think of to describe the habit I got into for a long time. You see, over the years my daughter‘s Dad just sort of handled everything. I got into the habit that he was great at being in control so why bother? Then as my daughter got older and we formed a closer bond of communication, I found out that she didn’t really want me to take the “back burner” anymore.

I must start off by explaining a bit of a back story as to why it was just easier for me to let him take care of everything for the most part. My middle child, second born, was difficult from day one. Aj required a lot of time and attention. There were major mood swings, he had and still sometimes has major anxiety. Aj simply is a lot like my sister and I combined. Having a child that has special needs, even if that special need is simply a mental health issue, means your hands are rather busy and the other children who seem to have it all under control tend to be forgotten.

I don’t mean that I forgot I had two other children, it was just that my daughter is the first born, the leader, she is strong and never really seemed to mind fully that her brother required so much attention. Ki was strong willed, and even if she didn’t like it, she accepted and understood that Aj needed his Mom. Looking back I can’t imagine how difficult the times with this situation were on her. Thankfully now all is well, Aj has been properly diagnosed and is doing amazing!

So now it’s time for me to start taking back some control of motherhood with my daughter and it’s a hard road. I thought I would feel overwhelmed, stressed and just not sure how I was going to tackle everything she has going on on top of dealing with my two sons, but that’s what parents do. We figure it out. There is no question when it comes to what our children need, we just do it!

So the other night when I found that I would have to go back and forth for various activities for two of my children, I didn’t feel overwhelmed, I didn’t let a moment pass by being unproductive. I made the best use of my time and even though my daughter’s Dad is very much involved in her life and still there for her stuff, I am there too. No longer am I on the back burner and it’s the most amazing feeling to see your daughter smile knowing what you went through to make sure you got to whatever it is that she has going on with two hyper boys in tow.

Not only do I show up, but I am smiling and that I think is what makes her smile most. I am showing my daughter that even when times seem overwhelming and near impossible that anything is possible if you bring a smile, a positive attitude and strength into the picture! All I can hope is that she looks back on this new found strength and is strong her own self as she faces challenges in life moving forward. After all, I believe in teaching my children through example not preaching.

Co-Parenting Isn’t About Personal Feelings

The holidays are coming and to be honest I have absolutely no clue if this is the year I have my daughter for Thanksgiving or not and as I started thinking about that it stirred up a few thoughts inside of my head; mainly thoughts surrounding my witness of other co-parents being so territorial about their child.

Whenever I see co-parents; two parents no longer residing together in a personal relationship but raising child(ren) together, they are not usually super friendly with each other. If these co-parents have moved on to have children with other people it seems those children are not super close to their half siblings parent either. This makes me sad.

I admit, my daughter’s father and I don’t always see eye to eye on life, heck sometimes we don’t see eye to eye on raising our daughter, but doesn’t every mom/dad combo have their moments of “oh my gosh you did WHAT?” whether you are living together or not? It’s part of parenting and part of co-parenting, accepting the other parents ways of mothering or fathering your child you created together.

Just because you and your ex were not able to create a long lasting, personal relationship together as a couple does not mean you can’t have some big, happy blended family. My sons sometimes call my daughters father “Daddy Ryan” and you know what? That is okay with me, why? Because my sons know who their daddy is, and they also know who their sister’s father is, which means occasionally Daddy with his name comes out, it’s just a matter of my sons hearing this man be referred to as both Daddy and Ryan, depending upon who is speaking to him. I am okay with them saying Daddy Ryan because it doesn’t hurt anyone. Just like I was okay when my daughter started saying “Daddy Justin” for her  stepdad shortly after her brother AJ was born, however, other people were not happy about that so she stopped so as to avoid hurt feelings of others not in our household.

What I try to say, mostly in writing, to others who co-parent is this: You both want your child(ren) to grow up healthy & happy, right? You both want the best possible future for your child(ren), right? Well then, forget about what caused you two to split up because that is irrelevant in present day, move on from the past and focus on the present & future well being of your child(ren). Sure it’s hard, believe me, it took me about two years to get to a solid point where I was “ok” with co-parenting and not trying to lash out at my ex, and some days I still lash out at him privately but never, ever would I put my child in the middle of my personal disagreements with her father, that is not fair to her at all.

There will be bad days, there will be good days but please when you are co-parenting remember that you both created this child, you both have rights to this child & you both love this child, do not make this child go into some big war that he/she doesn’t belong being a part of.

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Lack of Hearing, Arguments and the Joys of Parenting

My daughter is the brightest, sweetest little girl in all of the world. I love this child of mine as much as I love my boys but let me tell you what, even though she is among one of the teachers favorite students and is always willing to lend a hand to help, she is a pain in my bum sometimes.

 

Miss Ki will be 9 years old in October and as she grows I realize more and more how much we butt heads being “take control” kind of people. We both have that need to mother and need to organize personality which makes parenting difficult. We don’t fight much, we actually get along really well, however, she has certainly started to show a lack of hearing, a love for arguing with anyone and the need for the last word.  All of which creates tension in the household.

I know Ki can hear me when I speak and I know she understands what I am asking her to do yet it seems that no matter what it is I ask she doesn’t do it. What my daughter does do are awesome things; for example, while I am downstairs getting my sons to sleep she may be upstairs taking care of dishes just for fun or to help me out. The girl is a sweetheart … when she wants to be.

The other day for soccer I asked her THREE times to come out and get her cleats on did she do it? No and when did she realize that she had no cleats on? Yup you got that right, when she was out on the soccer field getting ready to join her team. I had to pack up her brothers and her because she can’t practice soccer in flip flops so we could go get her cleats that I clearly asked her to get into three times before we left the house.

What was Ki’s response to this situation? You never asked me to get my cleats on! Then it started to become  a back n forth argument when I realized I am arguing with my almost 9 year old daughter. I stopped, looked at her and told her I don’t care what you want to use as an excuse for not having put your cleats on, but I did clearly tell you numerous times to get your cleats on for soccer and I am not going to argue about it. We have them now, go practice.

What baffles me is this girl is simply the best daughter ever, I love her to pieces yet lately it seems she just doesn’t listen and argues way too much.  Then when she gets punished, such as losing a special privilege she cries like I just took away her bed or something and will now be making her sleep outside on the lawn. I mean, seriously, I don’t understand this new found parenting situation.

AJ is starting in with the last word thing too, so I need to nip this in the butt real quick because I refuse to have three children coming at me from all directions verbally.

I catch myself arguing back with my kids all of the time, not just Ki. Is it normal for you to catch yourself doing that too? How do you gain control once you realize you have lost control through bickering with your child?

 

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