I’ve been a mom for what? 15 months. Obviously, I am not the world’s greatest expert on parenting. Far from it. But, I find that when people share their experience, sometimes I can relate. And then sometimes I see how it could improve my parenting experience.
I want a nice child. I want a child who is respectful, kind, and easy to get along with. I’d rather not have big power struggle issues in the future. Doesn’t everyone? Well, I’ve realized that kids are sometimes easily trained.Too easily trained. In fact, in this short 15 months I’ve begun to see that my personal characteristics as a mother have begun to shape my child, in part. Let me explain.
I am a very laid back mom. I honestly could care less if at times my boy gets me all wet, or makes a complete mess, or takes my things from me.To me, it does not seem like a big deal. However, because I do not care, I have watched as my son believes that he can do whatever he wants. He has no reason not too! I haven’t taught him otherwise. He is absolutely a kind boy. But, if I am doing something, he feels free to take what I am doing and run away with it.
This observation made me think. Even though I am not naturally picky, I was going to make effort to become just a bit more so, on purpose. I am not doing drastic things, just simple everyday things, to teach respect for people and their desires.
- When P and I are playing together, I encourage purposeful trading of toys, instead of allowing P to take a toy I am “playing with” whenever he feels like it. If he expresses interest in my toy, I will gently say, “Mommy is playing with this toy right now. You have yours.” Then if he still wants it, I will say “Ok, lets switch toys!”
Setting boundaries. When we are eating together as a family, I establish what is my food and what is P’s. Of course we can still share food, but I point out that P cannot touch or eat my food whenever he wants to. He has his food that he can eat. This does not mean I can never offer my food to P. It just means that P is learning there are boundaries. We all need boundaries, and it is important for kids to have structure.
These are just 2 extremely simple things I am doing to become more purposeful as a mom. Parker is still young, which is why we are doing very simple things to teach respect for others. What are some things you do to teach your child to respect others?