I haven’t been a parent for so long but i have been a human being a little longer than that.
From all the parents i have met, meet and know in my life..i have concluded a few things about parenting which you may agree or disagree with; but anyway here you go..
If you have kids or might have one day..please take five minutes (a little bit more) and hear me out.
Do not attempt to be their teacher. Yes, teach them everything there is to know about life but do not play by the rules.
Your kids are supposed to experience fear, courage, struggle, independence, truth, lies…etc.
Do not shove the truth in their faces as they’re supposed to know it already. Allow them to dream, if they draw a flying elephant for example, first mention how beautiful their drawing is no matter how hideous you may find it as an adult, explain that elephants can’t fly but if that’s how they like them to be, it is just fine.
Be patient. Patience is key. Yeah i know sometimes with lack of sleep, problems at work and everything else you’ll find it hard to keep cool but just try. Take a deep breath and remember that every little word or action affects your kids.
Your children will not learn by words; they learn by imitation. They see you do. They do.
You can’t tell them that eating lots of chocolate is bad for their teeth while you grab a bar every two hours.
They can’t tell the difference. You can’t say: “am allowed to lie a little because am an adult. But you’re not because you’re a kid.” Next thing you know your kid will be giving himself excuses to lie as well.
Don’t live your dream or fear through them.
They’re not supposed to become doctors just because you want them to or because you couldn’t be one yourself. We didn’t bring them to this world so we can “robotize” them (you know what i mean).
Your fears are yours alone. Allow them to experience theirs, not live yours.
Take the time to explain everything with careful words suitable to their age. When a 3 year old asks where do babies come from; the answer is not similar to a 5, 7 or 10 year old.
Let them respect you and not fear you.
Be firm but fair. Tender but rough. Loving and caring but certain borders are not to be crossed.
Do not, by any circumstance forget about yourself. Yes we all know you adore your children but if you don’t take care of yourself, you’ll find yourself not loving who you are and if you can’t love yourself others will find it hard to love you.
Do not curse them. Blame them. Pick yourself up. You didn’t ask them if they wanted to be brought to life, so deal with your own shit and get over it.
Your children will not cancel your plans of “living” instead you’ll have a few more to share your plans with.
Your kid will not be your disappointing brother nor your selfish best friend or your lying cousin. Don’t raise them with such “failures” in head. Your kids are different, they will grow as a reflection of you and not anyone else.
Don’t say no without an explanation. That would be cruel and unfair.
“Because I said so” is such an idiotic expression and a sign of ignorance.
You can replace it with: “No mom you can’t eat chocolate because i wouldn’t want you to hurt your teeth and see you suffer with the dentist.”
Or: “No mommy no more tv for today because the TV is not going anywhere. It’s yours to use. But let’s try reading a story together and imagine it with our own heads. I used to do that when i was a kid and it was loads of fun.”
Just be creative. You brought a human being to the world. You’ll find something right to say.
© Sandra Chami Kassis –, 2014 – 2015