“Your kids are so good! How did you do it?” Is a compliment and question I get often. Although I love getting compliments on how “good” my kids are I get really uncomfortable when people asked me how I did it. Why? because that is such a broad question and I feel that any answer I give them would make me a “Mom Shamer”. If my answer was to be well we taught our kids manners I would be insinuating your child has bad manners. I’m always open to giving advice on specific topics like bedtime or potty training but teaching your kids to be “good” is a can of worms I’d rather not open. Plus my kids aren’t perfect little angels I go through tantrums and rebellious attitudes too!
Each kid is different and unique so my parenting technique has had to change and adjust to 4 different little personalities. These days parents push them or raise their kids into something that doesn’t fit them. All kids have different talents and interests so it is unrealistic for me to force them to be an athlete or be a mathematician. Anthony and I are on the same page when it comes to what we want to instill in our kids. Call us “old school” but we went to the basics; morals, humility, respect, manners and responsibility. We feel that these qualities are important because it will help them succeed in the world when they leave the nest. If one of our kids is not the brightest crayon in the box at least they will have a good foundation of being a good person.
Leading by example is the way we teach our kids. We are the type of people if we see you drop money on the floor we will pick it up and give it back to you because morally it is the right thing to do. Adam has seen us do this multiple times. So it came naturally to him one day when he found a $1 in the street near our house and he asked our neighbors if anybody dropped it. To his luck nobody claimed it so he got lucky and was able to keep it. We also have taught him to speak up when someone is doing wrong. If you see a kid being bullied, don’t encourage and don’t just be an innocent bystander. Stand up and intervene to what is right. His first week of middle school he witnessed a kid get kicked out of a table he was sitting at. Practicing what we had preached Adam had got up and left his table and sat with the kid.
My husband is big on being a humble person. He believes that even with great talent you still must stay humble, be true to who you are and always remember where you came from. With humility comes respect. There is always a humble talented person that is working hard that will outshine the cocky talent. Adam is very talented at soccer but he does not have the attitude that he knows he is talented. He stays humble on the field, if the refs have been picking on him after each game he will still go and shake their hand.
To get respect you must give respect. So Anthony and I talk to our kids in a very respectful tone. We talk to them as if we are talking to each other. When growing up I hated hearing “Because I am your mother that’s why” It is from my childhood I had learned that if you want your children to respect you, you must respect them and not talk down on them. We do not treat anyone as a superior however our kids have picked up on us being the adults and that they must respect us like we respect them.
Please and thank you are the basics of manners. If you are teaching your kids them you must say them to them as well and use it towards others. When one of us makes dinner for the family we always say “Thank you for dinner” or If I want my kids to clean I ask “Can you please clean your room?” and when they are done I always say “Thank you, I appreciate you” Whenever I take Adan with me to go grocery shopping he always loves to help me read the list and grab things. When in line I always tell him thank you for your help. I always say thank you to the cashier and bagger so Adan thanks them as well. If we go out to eat every time our waiter brings us something my kids have already picked up on saying please when they are ordering and thank you when the waiter brings them their food or drink.
My whole family has chores. That is how we teach our kids responsibility. We all work together to clean our house and do lawn work. Since I am home Adan, Alix and I have a routine in cleaning. Once they see me take out the vacuum they will start picking up their toys or grab the swiffer. Alix who is one is my go to gal for dusting. I hand her the duster and she gets to work. When Adam gets home from school and after he is done eating his snack he will clean the dishes, put clean ones away and take out the trash before he does anything else. If I prepare dinner one of the boys will set the table and when we are done eating we work together to clean the kitchen at the end of the day. Anthony has nightly pick up so whatever mess was made after the first round of cleaning he picks up.
These are the reasons I believe my kids are said to be “good” kids. If you are having behavior issues I hope this blog is a help to you.