How to be a good parent
What my dad taught me.
My dad was someone I held very close to my heart, he was funny, smart, witty and tough. He was this short powerfully wise man who just had no care in the world about money or anything to do with image even though he had helped some of the most powerful influential people internationally with life guidance and addiction. People were drawn to him because he was a straight shooter, honest and a really good man.
I loved my dad not because I had to but because I actually really liked him as a person. He meant the world to me and anyone that knows me knew that.
These are things my dad taught me about parenting:
Lessons are caught not taught, my dad always had these lovely little fire sayings and this was one he would tell me especially when I was eighteen and raising little Zac. I would be teaching Zac to do something I clearly wasn’t doing myself and my dad would walk past me, smile smug and say lessons are caught not taught.That was my dad, he was smart but funny and wise all at the same time. I have learnt from this that your kids are always watching you and that’s how they learn about life through you and your behavior and your actions. Just speaking to them won’t help, you have to be the example and that is so much easier said than done as we are only human but as long as everyday we keep this in mind and try our best to be the example and being the example can even come from doing the simplest thing like being kind. You are their how to book.
To love unconditionally, I knew my dad loved me and I knew that he loved me unconditionally and because I knew that I always knew that if I had a problem I could speak to him. I spoke to my dad about lots of things, things most kids would not dare tell their parents, and he honestly helped me get through so many experiences I have been through in my life. My greatest fear, especially now that Zac is getting older, is that when he needs me he won’t come to me. Adrian and I are always telling Zac that he can speak to us about anything good or bad. We also try and teach him that even if his done something wrong it’s best he tells us and ishonest about it as lying just makes things worse.
Give your kids as much of your time as you can, my dad had time for me and lots of it and it’s the one thing I remember and appreciate the most. We spent so much time talking and laughing, I honestly found him to just be so interesting and funny, the stories he would tell me about his life would have me giggling.
I often see my husband doing this with Zac and leaving Zac in fits of laughter with all his stories, it’s these moments that our kids adore the most. I think as a mom sometimes I struggle when it comes to taking the time to just talk to my son because I always have something that needs to get done, something I need to do like cook or change baby’s nappy. This is definitely something I would like to affirm to myself to do more. To take the time and just talk and laugh with Zac.
What my mom taught me
My mom has the biggest heart, she is very soft by nature and loving. Growing up my mom was always home cooking and cleaning and dancing. Our household was very old school, my dad never lifted a finger when it came to housework and he woke up every morning with a hot cup of tea next to his bed ready for him to drink. I tend to do this today. My mom was a good mom; she did everything she had to. She spent all her time with us and if not with us then doing things for us, she dedicated most of her adult life to us.
My mom and dad were married for over 40 years before he passed.
Be kind, my mom taught me to be kind, to share, she was always giving to theneedy whether it was clothes or food, even though we didn’t have much, we were always helping someone out. I think it’s important to teach your kids about charity and giving to the less fortunate and to not become to attached to things you don’t use anymore. We always ask Zac to set aside what he does not use anymore and he is always happy to give some of his toys and clothes to someone in need.
Even though they don’t appreciate it now I know someday they will, my mom has taught me exactly this that even thought the kids don’t see all the little things that you do for them now, one day they will so don’t feel discouraged when your kid starts complaining about your cooking, just keep doing what you do and do it with all your might, one day when he is older he will see that every night you slaved behind the stove to make him a plate of food.
Good manners and hygiene, my mom always instilled good manners into us growing up, greeting adults when walking into a room, saying may I be excused before leaving a table and remembering your please and thank you’s. This is probably why I brush my teeth twenty times a day and wash my hands till the skin starts peeling off, that and corona. Having a son and teaching him good manners and hygiene is important, my husband is a firm believer in this especially because Zac is coming into his teenage years. Adrian believes it really leaves a lasting good impression and will do his future good. He always reminds Zac to say thank you and please and may I be excused from the table and to greet adults with a firm handshake loud and proud. Zac being abit shy and in his awkward stage tends to greet really softly which sometimes if unheard can be misunderstood as rude. Our rule in this house is say it until you heard and recieve a response.
Dance with your kids, my mom is always dancing and listening to music and we would always join her as kids and jazz and laugh, it was so fun, this is something we still do today, I love to put music on and dance with Eli and Zac, it lifts everyone’s spirits up and they have the funnest time. Dancing also can effectively promote good health by improving cardiovascular fitness, strengthening the muscles, increasing circulation, decreasing blood pressure, lowering the risk of coronary heart disease, reducing stress, and many other positive benefits.
Dance like no ones watching!
Rip Dad 1954-2018