Holiday time is the time of year where we look back at our life and choices. I was looking at my children the other day and I realized they are awesome adults and maybe my husband and I did something right. So I thought about the way we raised our children and the choices we made. These are some of the things we did that I feel helped to make our children the fantastic people they are.
1) We always talked to our children about what was going on. We never said “Because I said so!” We felt they deserved a reason for our decisions. The answers were never long or drawn out, but short and easy to understand. Even if they didn’t think it was fair they understood why.
2) Spanking was reserved for dangerous situations, for example running into the street without looking. We choose to talk about the problems and work out the solutions in a peaceful manner. There were times they would get sent to their rooms to calm down from tantrums and then we would talk.
3) From about the age of five our children had chores to do. Easy ones to start like cleaning their rooms or toys. Then they got harder. As soon as they were in third grade they had to start helping to clean the house. Each had a floor to clean. Bathroom, living areas, play room, and kitchen. They switched off floors weekly because the lower level was easier. They had a week to get all of the rooms done because homework came first. They were also paid for their hard work.
4) When they came home from school they were allowed a snack but then their homework had to be done. Of course if they had a problem they knew they could save that part for when we came home and we would help them finish. Good grades were expected, but that didn’t mean B’s and C’s in a difficult class wasn’t good enough. We only ever asked them to do their best.
5) Family time was important! Dinner was always together and sitting at the table. We tried to do fun things together on the weekends. Sometimes going out to do activities and sometimes movie or game night at home.
6) Celebrating their accomplishments was also important. Going out for dinner to celebrate good grades or success in sports was important to our children and made them feel proud.
7) One of the most important things is telling them how proud we are of them. And how much we love them. We still do this as much as we can.
My children are 21 and 18 and I am so proud of them! My daughter is a junior at Augustana College and my son is a senior at Hoffman Estates High School. They are both kind, considerate, loving, and excepting of others differences. They care about others as they do themselves. I can’t ask for anything more. They are not perfect but neither am I so I don’t expect that. Only that they do their best.