Here’s your opportunity to learn more about the parenting styles of each Maturing Mama. No Mama is exactly the same in her parenting skills. This is our opportunity to highlight our differences in parenting in a means to help you find a method that works for you.
What’s one aspect of your parenting you hope your kids will take with them as parents?
If there’s one thing I hope my kids take from my parenting, it’s to know that it’s okay for them to have emotions and express them in a healthy way. To know that their own, and other people’s, feelings are valid, and to be empathic and understanding of those feelings. To not feel like they have to hold in how they feel in order to keep someone else comfortable.
I grew up in a home where my dad would shut down or use alcohol to numb his emotions. He also grew up this way. I never learned how to express my emotions in a healthy way and therefore it led to a lot of issues in my childhood and young adult life. It eventually got to a point where I really had to make a decision if I was going to keep letting this control my life or if I was going to take accountability and change.
And especially when I became a mom, I knew I needed to break that generational cycle and do better for my kids. I’ve had to do a lot of healing and relearning to get to where I am and I still have a long way to go but I hope and pray that I can succeed in showing my kids that they can express their emotions and how to do it in a healthy way.
What is one aspect of my parenting that I hope my children will take with them? I’d have to say my morals and manners.
Manners are a massive thing in my book. And I’m not just talking about please and thank you’s, but basic table manners, eating with your mouth closed, respect for other peoples things etc. It costs absolutely nothing for a person to be polite and the difference it can make to someone’s day is incredible.
If you’ve paid for a service off someone and you end the transaction with a nice smile and a “Thank you. Have a nice day”, watch them smile! And what has that really taken from you? 2 seconds of your day if that.
Tidying up after yourself in a restaurant, again costs nothing but makes your server’s day a whole load easier instead of having to pick up squished in chips and nuggets that your kids have thrown on the floor.
One massive thing I pride myself on is that fact, that people always comment on my children’s manners. They know they don’t get a thing without asking politely and being grateful afterwards. Obviously kids slip, it’s normal, but a gentle, “What’s the magic word hun?” is all it takes.
Another aspect is moral standing and treating people fairly. Not judging and doing your best to help whenever you can. I have been in the position where I have been absolutely on my arse finances wise and complete strangers have gifted items for my home, food and even clothes for my children. They know this and have always been taught that once something is unused in our house we too shall gift it on to people who are in need.
My children also don’t discriminate between people due to skin, culture, religion, disabilities etc because not once have they ever heard language that would make this an appropriate every day thought. If my daughter is describing two people, one white and one a person of colour she will say, “Oh the one in the purple top” or “The one with the hat on” and I absolutely adore this trait.
I have also massively instilled the fact from day one that everyone’s bodies and brains are different. One person is born with 2 legs and the next may have none- it does not make anyone a lesser individual than the other. And it most certainly is not something that needs to be pointed out and laughed at like a lot of people do these days.
These are the main aspects of my parenting that I would be absolutely over the moon for my children to carry with them onto their own one day. Fairness, appreciation, equality and manners.
While I was pregnant with our first child in 2018, I had all these ideas of what kind of a mother I was going to be. We all have thoughts in our heads throughout the years from seeing other parents, our own childhood experiences, media, what we are told by family and many other influences that shape our “parenting plan”.
We all tell ourselves I am going to be the “perfect” mother. I won’t let my kids do that, I will teach them this, my kids are gonna behave well in public. But we all know all of that is thrown out the window the moment these precious gifts are born. However, of all the things I constantly try to implement in my kids’ lives, the thing I always keep in the back of my mind is validating their feelings.
I am a mom of 2 young kids; my daughter is three and a half and my son is two and a half. With children soo young and close in age it is a challenge to keep up with everything. Validating their feelings and making them feel safe is something I always try to do. Children process things very differently from adults and every child is different. They might throw a full blown tantrum over the wrong color cup! But I believe by showing them that you understand, along with a hug, can make a huge difference in how they react to the situation. “Not adding fuel to the fire”. Whether it is pure joy, sadness, anger or a full blown tantrum.
I hope this is something that I am able to pass down to my children when they have their own. To understand children’s need to feel respected and have a safe space with you. It is a challenge to always be like that I understand, it is hard when you have had no sleep and no alone time. But they love us unconditionally and know nothing else.
One aspect that I hope my kids will take from my own parenting when they become parents is honesty.
Here at home, my husband and I have some principles and values that are non-negotiable. God always comes first, spouse second and then the children.
I tell them simple stories to help them understand that principle. God is the soil, my husband and I are the tree and they are the fruits. When a tree begins to bear fruits, it remains like a home until these fruits are ripe. If the roots are not firm and nourishing from a good soil, the trunk won’t have enough ‘food’ to sustain the leaves and the fruits. The tree will rot.
Same with our families, we care for our marriage intentionally as we decide to love each other every day and God sustains us in that decision.
We do this in front of our children, because they learn more from our attitudes than from what we say. So we take care of them, preparing them to build a strong family, with love, respect, complicity, friendship, affection, and especially fear of God. Which helps us to win our daily battles giving durable and lasting results.
On this day I would like to receive as a gift, a day that will make me feel more special and loved, a day that I would be the one who will receive everything, a queen day. With a lot of surprises on it, and of course spending that day with my husband and kids.
Rest. My mom was big on vacations and fun. Every summer from the moment we were born, we travelled to family, and when flights were costly, we’d do a staycation. There was never a summer without it. Before she passed, we didn’t recognize how much a driving force she was behind it all, but summers and holidays were never the same without her. We had to learn to value rest, making memories and making a big deal out of family holidays. Now, holidays are a must with my kids. We plan it into our calendars, and we work to ensure that it’s life-giving for everyone involved. When they’re older, I hope my boys know that resting and playing hard are just as important as working hard.