Monday, January 7, 2013

Teaching Your Kids

It's been a long couple of weeks with all 6 of my kids home for break and my husband working long hours. As any mom can imagine, my sanity is waning.

They (4 out of 6 anyway) went back to school today, so things were a little bit calmer until my kindergartner came home--she's a boisterous one! After the rest got home, it's a mad dash to try to get all of the reading, homework, and chores all done. Not to mention dinner, pajamas on, teeth brushed and then in bed.

After the aforementioned activities were just about done, I came up the stairs to discover that a budding artist had been practicing on the walls in my front room--our piano room and ever-'clean' place for guests to come where kids are not to play. It was on three walls and in the window sill. I did what any mom should do: get the offending child, confront them, and then make him help clean the wall--even at bed time.

Luckily, it was blue washable marker, so we got it cleaned up without too much effort--and no repainting!

Which brings me to this point--kids need consequences, they need rules, they need to know right from wrong--whether it's coloring on the walls, or something far more serious down the road. In this case, he's only 3 years old, he colored on the wall. We cleaned it pretty easily. He was taught not to do it again, which will hopefully be the case.

Have you heard the term "helicopter parent?" If not, it's a parent who essentially swoops down to "save" their child--regardless of age--from unpleasant circumstances. Say, for instance, a child gets a bad grade at school. A helicopter parent will contact the teacher and try to get it changed, rather than teaching the child to do better next time, seek extra credit work, or to study more. This negative pattern can have tragic consequences later in life if the child does not learn how to cope with age appropriate problems.

Don't rescue your children from natural consequences--but do be there to guide and encourage. Set rules, have consequences (both good and bad), and teach your children. They will learn from your example. And, of course, most importantly, LOVE your kids, as well as any kids you come in contact with. You can never love too much.

© Wendy 2013

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