I was a lucky one. I was fortunate to grow up in a home with two wise, wonderful parents who showered us with love, encouragement, and memorable experiences.
It was their aim to raise us four girls to be independent, kind, and full of faith, and so they offered us many opportunities to spread our wings, go after our goals, and meet all kinds of people.
I’m grateful for their role in my life, and I’m also grateful for the model they set for me as a parent.
My sister came across some advice they had written out for my cousin, back in 2003 when he asked for advice on raising his own girls. It’s such a gift to have their insight captured here!
1. Know what is age appropriate, and let them be their age: for instance don’t expect a 2 year old to understand and act like a 6 year old.
2. Don’t make any promises you might not be able to keep.
3. Don’t ever cut down the person- just say specifically what you don’t like that he did.
4. Don’t scold them in front of others – Let them know ahead of time what you expect.
5. Pray for them and for yourself.
6. Don’t give in to their temper tantrums.
7. Don’t accept tattling.
8. As much as possible let them settle things between themselves.
9. Try to understand what they’re feeling- what’s important to them- where they’re coming from when they tell you something. Some things are important to a child that might seem unimportant to you.
10. Trust them.
11. Set high expectations but not expectations that are unattainable.
12. Give them freedom and privacy- use common sense.
13. Respect everyone – have good manners.
14. Give them responsibilities.
15. Teach by example – don’t expect more from them than you expect from yourself.
16. Remember your children are always looking up to you.
17. Be their friend.
18. If you’re disappointed in them, let them see it.
19. Don’t let them be wimps – finish what they start.
20. Children want to please you because they love you – so first and foremost there must be mutual love.
21. Nobody is perfect. Know that they will make mistakes once in a while.
1. Tell them truth.
2. When they’re little, don’t make any threats that you won’t follow through with if they don’t comply.
3. Be patient- spend time waiting for them without complaining- up to an hour.
4. Encourage and support- no matter what their interest is- be their fan (more than their coach).
5. Remember you’re building a person from the inside out.
6. First and foremost you know they are God’s and you are raising them for Him.
7. Every child is different with a different temperament. You have to treat them accordingly.
8. Never punish them for accidents.
Grandpa’s Advice: (My Dad’s Dad)
Raising kids is like fishing- if you yank on the line, you’ll break it, & if you give it too much slack, they’ll swim away.