Hello fellow fishies,
First let me begin by saying, I am beyond grateful for all of you who take an extra moment to click onto my site & read the posts I write. It means the world to me, & somehow, even when I’m in the midst of difficult adversity I know I can read a sweet comment, tweet, email or FB post & feel of your love. So… thank you sincerely.
This May will be 20 years that I have been parenting, & all too soon, my oldest son will be leaving me to forge his own path in this world. In addition, the others are not too far behind him. While I have loved being a parent it comes with struggle @ times. It is true what my mother has always said to me. “When their young they step on our toes. When their old they step on our hearts.” They do provide joy & in a couple of months, I’ll probably be in the fetal position, in the closet crying.
I write about all sorts of things, & since this is a lifestyle blog & because my life is complex, I’m writing today about something that’s occurring in my home lately. Todays post will be more about some guidelines/ or should I say Must dos for parents that have Teens or Tweens. Therefore, in regards to my recent struggles & triumphs I have discovered a few things that may help you in your journey with your teens/tweens. I have learned these things through experience.
1. Have passwords to your kids social media platforms & emails. Check them often. Sexting, bullying & all sorts of things happen behind closed doors.
2. Make an effort to know the parents of your child’s friends. I personally have restricted sleepovers, but you may allow sleepovers. Many things can happen when your children are not under your care. Do they have curfews? Do they allow the opposite sex over? Will the parent’s be @ home? Do the parents take the keys, so the kids cannot sneak out @ night? These things you need to know.
3. Take away all access to the Internet & friends @ bedtime. Computers, IPads, cell phones, etc. Your children need their sleep, & you need to help facilitate that. If left to their own devices they will be online all wee hours of the night. Nothing good happens in the wee hours of the night.
4. Check their texts periodically. Have a rule in place if they erase the texts. For the same reason you would check their online activity, you need to check their texts. Make sure they are not setting up accounts online under aliases. Some teens do this & use block settings. You therefore have no idea what their up to. A good time to do this is @ bedtime when you remove the phone for bedtime. Start with the photos.
5. Sit down to family dinner @ least a couple nights each week. Do not just eat. Talk. Make it fun & do not interrogate.
6. Listen to your kids. Listening in general, but a great time is in the car. Offer to drive them places, & pick them up often. This is where you will gain a wealth of knowledge; just by listening to them interact with each other.
7. Listen to their music. There are some interesting messages given to your children these days. You cannot stop them from listening to the music they want to listen to, but you can encourage them to listen to positive/uplifting music. If you know the lyrics, it can encourage conversations about the messages in the songs.
8. Lead by example. Do not text & drive. Do not drink & drive. Shut your social media down & smell the roses, etc.
9. Teach them the value of giving. Involve them in service. ” Service is the rent you pay, for the privilege of living on this earth.” I have quoted this since my children were small.
10. Always call if your child is in someone else’s hands. Call. If they ask to go to a party call the parents. If they ask to sleepover @ a friend’s house make sure you call the parent.
I am writing these things because I love my own children & I know you love yours. They say you cannot be friends with your children & in the way, the quote is meant, I agree. You cannot allow them to do whatever they want; you cannot parent so that your kids think your cool. You are your parent & parent you must. When you parent with love, respect, and honesty & through example, you will build a relationship for a lifetime.
Happy Wise Parenting…