In attempts to share my pearls of motherhood wisdom, let me first say that I LOVE being a mom! I know that I’m a better person being one.
I only dreamed of having 2 children. So when I started multiplying. I found myself quiet overwhelmed as I became we- OVER & Over Again. At that time, I was so ignorant. I thought more children meant more hair loss. More stretch marks, More runs to the local schools, increased living expenses. Less time for me…….and my husband.
More children meant less money in my pocket. What I’ve found over the years is how to use what I have to handle my family needs. I ‘ve how to use my time and resources wisely. I’ve gained a new perspective in life and have learned what is most important in life.
Thank God, with my age came wisdom. As becoming a mom overall has been a gift from above.
I was blessed with nine amazing miracles. I’ve learned that to be a parent is and should be a calling.
There is absolutely nothing as great, challenging, or rewarding as raising a child. These pointers, I hope to show parents that their role deserves reverence, respect and pride.
1. I Am Your Mama, Not Your Friend
I never felt the need to be friends with my children—not when they were eight or ten. Not even when they were sixteen years old. My kids had their own friends and I had mine. I never set out to win any popularity contests on the home front. Like my mother, I know my kids don’t have to like me—neither do yours.
Every parent must have the courage to be in charge and to say no. You can have fun with your kids just like you can with a friend—we had plenty of fun—but you can’t be afraid to enforce the rules because you might lose your child’s affection. As parents, we have to protect our children. That is a job for a parent—not a friend.
- Draw the Line to Win Respect. It’s never OK for your child to disrespect you in any way, at any time, for any reason. They need to know that up front.
- Join the Congregation of Expectations. Setting your rule expectations is the most important thing you can do for your children. You must state clearly what you want. If we were going somewhere like Wal-Mart, I might say, “We are not buying today.” That way, the kids knew before we went into stores that toys and such would not be purchased. Don’t wait until you are in the store to announce this—if you do, you end up having to say no, repeatedly.
- Don’t Just Set the Table: Set a Good Example. I know my children did not have to look at fictional heroes for good examples. A real-life hero sat at the head of the dinner table every night at our house. He was their father. His dedication and commitment to his family was a powerful model for all our children.
- Pull Out That Can of Whup-Ass. My whup-ass expands far beyond just a physical punishment. It’s about whatever I can do to change a negative behavior. It is about taking something away from a child and how he feels about it. Most times, the anticipation of an open can of whup-ass is worse than the final punishment.
Remember, above all, the key thing you can do for your children is to spell out exactly what you expect from them. Don’t be all talk and no action—follow through on what you say and be a good role model to your children.
2. No Child Really Wants to Be Left Alone
It is up to us to make our children feel protected and secure by creating structured boundaries. We need to let them know we care enough to set the rules. Children without rules may boast of being free from the “sissy” or “stupid” rules their friends have to follow. Yet, deep inside they long for some kind of structure and don’t want to be left alone.
- More Structure=Better Discipline. My formula is simple: more structure for your kids creates less trouble and less need for discipline. Rules and routines help your kids know what to do without being told repeatedly.
- Be The Boss. Single parents need to keep their family rule structure in place, especially if they suddenly become single. Step up to the game (especially if you are raising boys) to let them know the rules must continue to be followed. Impress on them that you still call the shots—yes, just you—because even alone, you remain the boss.
- Be There BeCause You Care. All kids want to know they matter to someone. They want to know they are important to you by the way they are received when they need you. It would be wonderful if each child had at least one adult in his life who put him ahead of everything, who was madly in love with him; one person—a parent would be ideal—who lights up when he walks in the door.
- Be Your Brother’s Keeper. When my cousins came in after a fight, he’d tell us what happened. Their dad would turn to the other brothers and ask them where they were when this was going down. If they were there, he’d ask what they did to help him in this fight. He felt strongly that no sibling should stand by while another was being hurt, threatened, or picked on. We stressed the importance of being responsible for each other.
The best mother ever! My mom and daughter. I miss her so much.
*From the book Mama Rock’s Rules by Rose Rock with Valerie Graham. Copyright © 2009 Number of pages: 256, Price: $16.99. ISBN: 9780061536113; ISBN10: 0061536113
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