There is no perfect way to raise children or to teach them. Please understand any advice I attempt to give comes from the heart in hopes it will help and you will know you are not alone.
I have the two hardest, most rewarding positions on the earth; being a mom and attempting to change lives at Heritage. Kids come with all different personalities and what works for one may not work for another. However, one thing I do know is that when difficulty knocks, a relationship must answer. Just because you’re a parent does not mean you are entitled to a relationship. As a staff, I’ve come to understand that being an authority figure makes it even more difficult to build a relationship. I like the saying, “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” One value that has helped me build relationships is being consistent.
Parenting and working with “my kids” is so much easier when I’m consistent. My girls at work will stop themselves in the middle of an inappropriate conversation just because I raised my eyebrows. Why? Because they know exactly what that look means because I’m consistent with my expectations. My girls know what is acceptable and what is not – there are boundaries and limits. There is no confusion. This teaches my kids to be accountable. When they make a negative choice, they know what the consequence will be before I give it and they know I’m not going to rescue them from the natural consequences. And therein lies the teaching moment that builds relationships. Instead of lecturing and explaining why something is wrong, the girls and I get to talk about what options they had and what would’ve been a better choice. They feel validated and I don’t feel like I’m beating a dead horse.
Being constant is difficult and it takes practice, but I know I consistently feel confident that it’s a step in the right direction. Say that three times fast … 🙂