I came across the post 7 Things Kids Need To See Their Mom Doing on Pinterest the other day. *You can also read my sister’s post 9 Lessons From My Dog to get more ideas on how to live a happy life.* I thought it was a great start to a wonderful idea. We could all use little reminders on what it’s like to lead a happy life. Being a parent means that you’re responsible for training up that child. Training is more than disciplining. Training is being an example…being someone that you’re kids can look up to and copy. They are going to do as you do, so you might want to make sure you’re doing what you want them to do. So, this is more for myself than for you, but I felt inclined to share it with you anyway.
Here are the 20 things I need to do more often in front of my children in order to be the best example I can be:
- Read my Bible
This is very important! I put it as number 1 for that reason. I want my children to see that I’m not a hypocrite. I want them to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, so I need to show them how to do that.
Yes, we pray every night before bed. We also pray before school starts in the morning. I want to incorporate more prayer into our daily lives, though. I want the kids to learn how to turn to God for every need. I want the kids to learn that God is always there to listen…even when I may not be! I want my children to become powerful prayer warriors! The best way for them to learn this is by hearing others pray.
- Praise and Worship
A thankful heart is a happy heart. At church, we participate in praise and worship to give thanks and adoration to God. That shouldn’t be a weekly thing. I need to remember to do this daily!
- Clean the house
Now, the list isn’t in any specific order starting at this point. Some of these things are more important than others, but I just wrote them as they came to me.
I feel that it’s important to have a clean home. I am happier when my house is somewhat clean. When I’m happier, I’m healthier. I’m not strict about how clean my home is, but I prefer to not have toothpaste stuck in the sink and dirty clothes (especially underwear) all over the floor. I like to make a list of things that I need to accomplish each day and actually get it done. This ties into #5…
- Make lists
Like mentioned above^^, I like to make lists. Doing so can keep me organized and on track for the day. I get a feeling of accomplishment when I look at my list and see that I have done 5 things by noon (or even 1 task). I think this is a great skill to teach children=make a list, work towards accomplishing your tasks, be satisfied with what you achieved. And this also will work for #6…
- Set goals and reach for them
First of all I would ^^make a list of my goals. 🙂 Sit down with your children and ask them what their goals are….make it a Family Fun Night Activity. Have daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, or even long term goals in mind. Along with writing down the goals, brainstorm ways to reach your goals. Think of obstacles that might get in your way and how you can overcome them. You will be teaching your children so much if you let them be a part of this.
- Read books
Read books for fun. My children are all lovers of reading. They have loved books from the time they could sit on our lap for a bedtime story. To encourage that love for reading your children need to see you reading, for fun! Try to find books that interest you. Find self help books to better yourself.
Ha! Ha! Ha! Proverbs 17:22 – “A merry heart doeth good [like] a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”
Need I say more?
- Say “No” to friends
It is so easy to get caught up in everyday life. It is nice to feel needed by friends and family, to feel wanted. We also need to rembmer that having a completely full schedule can be overwhelming! It can be hard on your health, and the health of your immediate family. Running all the time creates stress. When we run non-stop, how do we maintain a healthy diet? a consistent schedule? have our own quiet time? We have to remember that it’s ok to say “no” to people. We don’t have to always be the person that is at every event.
- Have a hobby
You can read how I feel about technology/electronic devices in this post. I feel that children need to see you working on a hobby to learn that it’s ok to have interests besides just family. I like to knit, crochet, sew, and garden. The kids will now ask me if I can teach them how to do these things. Not only will your children have a bordom buster, but they will also be able to make things for themselves…if there were ever a need.
Since I’m a homeschooling mother it’s my responsibility to keep my children active. Exercise can be going for walks, swimming, biking, playing sports, or even just yoga. I want my children to feel young when they are older. I want them to be flexible and fit, but most of all healthy! If your children see you sitting on the couch day in and day out, what do you think they will do when they grow up?
- Show love to their father
This might not be easy for everybody (for instance if you are a single mother). Show affection to your spouse. Hug him when he comes home from work. Give him a kiss good-bye. Tell him you love him. Make it obvious to your children that your husband is the head of the house. Give him respect.
- Ask for help
Many times we think that we can do anything and everything. Make sure your children know that it’s ok to ask for help.
- Play with the kids
Take time out of your busy day to play with your children. Play Barbies, Legos, cars, soccer, jump rope…Color on the drive-way, blow bubbles, snuggle on the couch to read books. Be there for your children when they ask you to be. Those dishes will be there when the kids go to bed!
- Say “I’m sorry” and mean it!
We all make mistakes. We all have said hurtful things. We all have lost our temper. We need to apologize for our mistakes. We need to apologize to our children! And we need to do those things the right way. Take blame for your own actions, ask for forgiveness, and work really hard to never do that same thing again.
- Actively watch the kids (turn off technology)
I take my girls to gymnastics. They love it and I really enjoy watching them. As I sit up in the balchony I look around and what do I see? Every parent up there is face down, staring at their phone! I then continue to watch my girls walk across the beam or flip around the bar. They will look up at me after every thing they do. They are so happy when I give them a thumbs up or even just to see me making eye contact with them. Unfortunately, the other kids will look up to have the same approval from their parents and they receive nothing! All those kids see are the tops of their parents heads as they are absorbed into their cyber life. I don’t ever want to be that parent. Children deserve our attention. Be there for your children.
- Show emotion, and handle it
Life sometimes isn’t fair. It’s ok to get emotional. God gave us emotions to use them. Let your children see you cry out of joy and sorrow. Let them see how you handle hard situations in life. When they see that you have the same types of fears, doubts, and hurts as them it will teach them how to handle them.
- Get dirty and enjoy nature
Get outside and get your hands dirty. Dirt is actually very healthy! Teach your kids that it’s ok to get your hands dirty. Too much of the education these days is teaching kids to be afraid of germs and bacteria. We need to have germs and bacteria introduced into our bodies to have a healthy immune system. So go ahead and take your kids on a nature hunt, or start a garden with your family. Get dirty and enjoy doing so!
I hope these 18 instructions encourage you to have a happier and healthier relationship with your children. Let’s start to eat that elephant one bite at a time!