All parents want their kids to have a life a little easier than they had. A long and happy marriage and a successful career is nearly always a parent’s goal. When you are raising four children, you still have these same priorities but time can start to fly by easily. You learn to prioritize, work with your partner, and help your children get out of and through tough situations. Parents of four children know these ten things all too well.
1. You Don’t Make Them Taste Their Food
When kids are small the idea of making them ‘at least’ taste every new food you put on the table is great. It does not work, but it is a fantastic idea. It actually turns mealtimes into kiddy nightmares filled with tears, anger, and confrontation. For what? That one bite of broccoli isn’t going to provide substantial nutrients or endear a new food to their preferences.
2. You Believe They Must Clean Their Plates
Most people grew up under the parental law of ‘clean your plate’, then mom would pile on the food you hated most like vegetables, or rice or that slimy okra stuff. Wow, these types of rules must have come directly out of the torture your kids book.
That rule is not completely off the track. The error is in the application of it. If the children have to eat everything they put on their plate, they should be the ones putting it there and controlling the amounts. They will soon learn what ‘your eyes are bigger than your belly’ means.
3. You Know Healthy Eating Can be Fun
Food can be fun and if you really want to encourage them to expand their taste buds you have to try a new approach. Have them choose what veggie they want each month, a minimum of four or five, and work them into mealtime.
4. You Can Work It Out
Exercise is the best way to get rid of aggression, frustration, and anger in children. Parents of four kids create fun ways to work off that excess energy with races and rewards, or to bike together. Shooting hoops can also teach fair play while putting the vim and vigor to good use.
5. You Get Your Hands Dirty Together
Gardening or raising your own chickens will teach children the value of life as well as instilling self-sufficiency. Gathering eggs for their breakfast will become a memory they will always appreciate. When that first seed pops its head up and you explain that’s a cucumber growing, it is like magic.
6. You Need to Set Priorities
If schoolwork is important treat it as such, make a learning environment with your kids and label homework time as their job. Schedule their work time and stick to it.
7. You Know What to do About Bullies
Teaching your children to spot a bully and how to evaluate their own bully type behavior is an invaluable life lesson. Explain how they can help stop mean behaviors simply by denouncing the actions and not joining in the laughter at someone else expense. Tell them to go get an adult immediately.
8. You Teach Them about When to Run
Stranger danger is not a new term by any means but the expansion of who is a stranger needs to be engrained into each child’s brain. Everyone other than mom, dad or siblings is a stranger, and he or she should not go anywhere or even speak to them alone without permission each time. they should run home or to the nearest busy public building. Teach them, ‘internet friends’ are only names of people that may not even exist.
9. You Help Them Just Say No
Providing your kids with a comfortable way to say no to experimental drug or alcohol use is the key to success. Give them a phrase to respond with like “I’m good, thanks anyway.” There are ways for a teen to get out of a situation they don’t want to participate in if they do not want to.
10. You Teach About Rejection
Learning how to accept rejection without getting hurt or feeling criticized is a gift to all kids. They need to know it is more about the person that said no, not the person that opened their hearts to them. Teach them it is to be expected,everyone gets rejected a lot. Nurturing that self-esteem from the time they are small will get them through the tough times.
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