I constantly wonder if I am a good parent? How do I raise my children? And how is it that children are raised? By reading books and applying the acquired knowledge? By insisting on discipline, good order and schedule?
My son used to ask often: “Mom, are you angry?”, “Why are you angry?”, “Stop being angry.”, while I could not understand that I should help him understand different feelings.
“I am worried now”, I say. “Why are you worried?” “Because your sister does not want to eat anything.” And then: “I am disappointed now.” “Why are you disappointed?”; “Because we cannot go outside, because it is raining heavily”. Then, “Now I am sad.” “Why are you sad?” “Because you have a cold and you cough bad”.
Now, when he says I am angry, it is usually true, but I always explain him that I am angry because they don’t collect their toys or because they fight and argue. My son now clearly knows to recognize when he is angry, and when he is disappointed. He recently told me for the first time that he was worried. And, of course, I wanted to check whether it was – it. “Why are you worried?” “Because there is costume party in the kindergarten this Friday, and I do not have a costume.” I am happy. He understood how to recognize his own concern.
Mostly all the books I have read so far regarding child-raising state that we should provide example, that we should try to show by personal example what our values and wishes are. What we consider good, and what not.
Parents are people too, just to note. Mom who smokes tells her child it is harmful. And here comes confusion. Why mom smokes if smoking kills? And the whole world collapses for a mom who is trying very hard to teach her children the right life values. And I wish to stand in their defence. Mom smokes because she likes to smoke. Mom is entertained by smoking and it calms her down. There is also something that is said quietly, and that is that mom smokes when she goes out on the terrace and has five minutes to herself. Shhhhh.
I want to share a few “tricks” of mine in the everyday children-raising.
1.When they make a chaos with toys, I tell them that they have 10 minutes to collect them, after which everything goes to trash. Then negotiations start – can it be in 25, 10 is little, even though they still do not know what 10 means, and what 25 means, but they love to “bargain”.
Then they run around the house, collide and arrange things. To be perfectly clear, they are mostly thrown into drawers and scattered over shelves, and there is no order, but they are collected and are not everywhere around the house.
2.When they won’t eat fruit, I organize a contest. I fold their eyes and feed them bananas, apples, peaches, tomato, carrot, etc… They are guessing what they are eating. For each correct answer, they get a stamp on the paper – a flower, and always, absolutely every time, they eat everything. We untie the eyes and count how many flowers each of them has. i.e. who ate the most bites of fruit (vegetable).
3.Washing and brushing the teeth goes with little towels which hang on their colourful holders, and with the brush-holders shaped like puppies and dolphin. And everyone has its own toothpaste as a must. Mom and dad define the dosage of a half of a pea, and their mission is to brush. Lengthwise and crosswise.
Let me hear you, moms! And dads!