Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Parenting Musings….
We are both the parents of wonderful children. As cousins, our kids couldn’t be closer. We enjoy them so very much! But, in raising children, there are many every day struggles to deal with when you have many people sharing one roof. In keeping with last week’s blog, we offer some thoughts on how to get through those ordinary days with your kids, regardless of their age.
1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Yes, it’s a phrase we’ve heard so many times but so true it’s worth repeating. Don’t start the day of sourly by getting all bent out of shape when the morning doesn’t go as smoothly as you’d like. They’ll be at school in a blink. Avoid that morning discontent.
2. This goes along with number one: Make up your mind to keep a positive attitude when you wake each day. Try really hard during the day to remember that no one can make you “feel” a certain way – good or bad. Remind yourself that you wish to stay joyful! Especially during homework time!
3. Make sure each family member has their own space at home even if it’s a small one. This is important especially if you live with a quiet, more introverted family member. And also if you live with a more extroverted one in the same house 🙂
4. Try to have some time each day where you can come together as a family. Maybe it’s dinner time or an evening routine. We live with kids who love to share each and every part of their day and ones who tell us nothing. Try to find time to be together in ways that suit everyone’s personality. An occasional game night or movie is usually something that all of us can enjoy.
5. When your children grow older, don’t force them to do things they really don’t want to. It makes it hard for everyone to have a good time.
6. On the other hand, do encourage outings and new activities to be tried at least once. You never know who will like what.
7. We make ONE meal each night for dinner. If they are hungry, they will eat it. If the meal can be easily tweaked to meet everyone’s taste (i.e. after draining pasta, some can be put in a bowl to be eaten plain with butter or some with tomato sauce). If not, a nice bowl of cereal is fine too.
8. Try hard not to over schedule your children’s after school and weekend time. Leave days for sleeping in late and having down-time. Why create extra stress on everyone?
At the end of each day, even though everyone’s bedtime seems to be different these days, we always tell each other good night and that we love them. Isn’t that what it’s all about?