Being a parent is very hard. For many, many reasons. The biggest reason, I believe, is because it takes about 18 years to see the results of our work. Sometimes more.
When I became a mother I was terrified and have apparently terrified my sister-in-law about having kids. Sorry, Melissa! I promise it’s really not that bad.
It especially helps when you have great friends who are willing to share their parental advice. This piece of advice I received came from a mother to one of children I was privy to nanny, before having kids.
This is what she said “figure out what is most important to you and your family and then go from there.” I love this piece of advice for so many reasons, but mostly because it gives you a structure to work around as a parent.
For my husband and I, we decided that respect is the most important value we want to instill in our children. To us respect is treating others kindly, saying please and thank you and following the golden rule.
I have to hand out large kudos to my husband here, because he’s very good at keeping our kids in line. If one of them starts to develop an attitude he is quick to give them an attitude check and discuss the behavior. I truly appreciate his help.
If you’re a new parent or are wanting to instill this in your lives think about what is especially important to you, what do you want your children to be like when they grow up? Then go from there.
To give you some more examples I asked fellow mom bloggers what is most important to them and here are their responses.
The Joys of Mamahood said “Kindness, definitely to treat everyone with kindness. You never know what a person is going through and how such a small act of kindness can change someone’s day around.”
Dominique of Writing Mother Fashionista says “For me the most important is religion. There are times in life one can feel alone or unloved. I am so thankful my mother taught me God is always there when we need him. God has really got me through some tough times in life. I can only hope my children always feel the same.”
Momster Diaries expresses “Simply put, i just want them to be respectful human-beings and also be educated/skillful enough to survive with happiness in this world independently.”
Lastly, Sarah of Not Your Traditional Family stated “That this life isn’t all there is. Find your purpose and passion and then go for it.”
I love all these responses, they show that each family is unique and you need to find what works for yours.
Taking the time to focus on our main issue leaves room to let the small things go. I don’t go crazy if the kids room is messy or their naps are off schedule. At the end of the day if they were respectful to me and their friends that is all I really care about.
Parenthood is not a perfect venture and there will be many more battles lost along the way, but I am confident that my children are learning at least one very important life lesson. Respect.