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The 10 Things I Have Learned From Raising My Children

February 10th, 2008 at 07:35 am

I have been a single parent most of my children's lifes. I have a son who is out west and is a Civil Engineer, I have a daughter who lives nearby who is a Human Service major but runs a Restaurant and I have a Senior in High School who is still struggling with school, girls and peer pressure. It has not been easy raising these kids, but there are a few things I have learned:

1. Pick your wars and make sure they are worth it. Your words and actions become memories that can last a life time. Is it really worth it to get upset because they left their clothes somewhere they shouldn't have? It was much easier for me to just take care of it and maybe later gently remind them to pick up after themselves.

2. Be willing to say you are sorry when you know you are wrong. I remember my son mowing the lawn and getting upset because he went to fast and tore up some grass, I confronted him and he began to cry, he was doing his best, he was still learning (I apologized, gave him a hug and told him to drive a little slower).

3. Make sure you tell them that you love them every day. I didn't let my kids leave for school or leave the house without telling them I loved them. You never know what is going to happen in todays world and I never let my kids leave angry at me or me at them, you never know it could be your last words together. (I know this from experience, my best friend had a very bad verbal war with her 15 year old son the day she died in an automobile accident, they said some bad things that have haunted him into adulthood).

4. Praise them often and be careful with criticism; make it constructive and do it kind and methodical; you get more bees with honey than you do with vinegar. After all, we are building their self esteem.

5. Ask them about their day, about their friends, about their relationships, let them know you are interested in their life and listen to what they have to say; sometimes you will hear things you would not have known if you had not have asked and listened.

6. Teach them to be kind to themselves and kind to others. Make giving to the needy and less fortunate an example in your home and they will never look down on others; it teaches them human compassion.

7. At least 75% of the time, put their needs before your own. They only have one childhood and they are only children once; make it special.

8. Make family meal time important and have sit down dinners together. With sports, work, sleep overs and etc. sometimes it is hard to have family dinners. We made Sunday a must, at least Sunday we had to have dinner together. It keeps the family close and is a good time to share our lifes; there is always a lot of picking and laughing at our table.

9. When they make a mistake and do something they shouldn't (they will because they are human and learning), help them to see what their actions have done to themselves and others, help them to forgive themselves because this is a learning experience and now they can move on. We have all made mistakes and we just need to do better so it doesn't happen again.

10. Give love, give hugs and don't be afraid to touch and show emotions. This teaches your child how to love others, bond with others and express their feelings. I've met people in this life who don't know how to express feelings, are uncomfortable with a hug and never say, "I love you", because as children, they were not shown this important emotion in a touching and affectionate way. I know parents who love their grown children, but I never see them touch, many write a check and think that does it.

I'm definately not or do I profess to be a "great mother", but I have been the best mother I know how to be. I've made mistakes, probably been too easy on them, felt sorry for them because they were raised without a father in our home and have given too much, but my children respect me, love me and come home often to see me, this is home, so I am doing something right.

Give them the tools and they will become everything you think they can be and more.

10 Responses to “The 10 Things I Have Learned From Raising My Children”

  1. Thrifty Ray Says:

    wise, wise words. If all parents followed your advise, the world would be a different place...10 stars from me on this one!!!

  2. zenith Says:

    This must have been very difficult for you to do on your own. As a mother of grown children myself, this made my eyes tear up.
    Mothers are special.
    You get my vote too.

  3. JanH Says:

    Beautiful words!

  4. jaiparis Says:

    Wow great post, quite a few of your comments we do and you know we have some great boys, not always perfect but good boys with good manners and are slowly turning in to young men. So what you say works!

  5. shiela Says:

    Great post. Thank you so much for sharing.

  6. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    thank you thank you thank you

    I am in the throes of everything you say.
    My two turn 8 and 10 today!! (same birthday)

    I am ok on a couple of these points, but am going to get better at #3 for starters. (Occurred to me a couple weeks ago I don't say it enough, and already started to do it more).

  7. nanamom Says:

    Bravo!

  8. Lost in debt Says:

    Thanks for all your votes and comments. It's still a work in progress; but I couldn't live without them.

  9. luxlivingfrugalis Says:

    Very well said. And although we are in the midst of crisis time w/one son I don't want anyone here to think I don't praise him often or give him credit for when he does get it right!

    Lovely sentiments and all so true!!

  10. Susan Says:

    You not only gave your children the best gift possible by being such a wonderful mother but yourself one also. I've been in your shoes and if I could go back and change a couple of the things I did wrong I would do that in a heartbeat. But that is the past and the best that I can do now is to not repeat them. So take heart Moms and start now, forgive yourself and be the best you can muster from this day forward. Congratulations to the author of that post, job well done!

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