Guest Post by Ashley: Children Get Older
I am so excited to have Ashley from Make it Rane guest post on my blog today while I am away on vacation. Ashley is a newbie blogger that I am thrilled to introduce you all too. She wrote a wonderful post today on my blog about her children getting older. Be sure to checkout her post below and visit her blog for more great posts. I especially like her post on how to get your teens to respect you.
I'm sitting in my favorite coffee shop and that great Stevie Nicks song Landslide is on.
I love that line..."time makes you bolder, children get older, I'm getting older too."
That's just what is happening to me right now.
Children are getting older. Not the kind of older where you are excited that they can do more stuff on their own,
the kind where they are getting ready to go places. Like drive away in their own car...leave for college....have relationships.
It makes me reflect on some stuff...
Like did/are we preparing them for the road.
I can't prepare the road for them. I tried that when they were little. I picked their preschools and their activities and their clothes...but as they got older, I realized that that approach wouldn't work for them in the long run.
Here are a few examples of things my husband and I have done to prepare our kids for the road (instead of the road for our kids)...
1. From a young age we have taken them to nice restaurants and had them order for themselves. This taught them a number of things. They know the appropriate behavior for their surroundings. Sometimes it's time to sit still. It also taught them to speak up. When they want something, they need to speak in a nice clear voice and ask for it. They also learned to say thank you to whomever paid for their meal (even if it's their own father.)
2. Never, ever switched their teacher (or tried). If my child ended up with a teacher they didn't click with I helped them through it. (And believe me, I have three kids and the oldest is a Jr. in High School...we haven't always had the best teachers). That's life! You will run into people who you have a hard time dealing with and if you run away every time when you're little...what are you going to do when it's your boss or a co-worker?
3. Provided a safe place to fail. My kids know that failure is an option. Practice doesn't make perfect (it makes you better...). And that sometimes everyone screws up. Of course, there are consequences for our actions but we celebrate learning from our mistakes. I don't want my kids to get out into the world, mess up and then not know what to do because I am not their to fix it for them. If they need to apologize, they do it. If they need to write and essay or serve a detention, they do it. If they think it was unfair of the teacher or other authority to impose those consequences, I might help them come up with a strategy to address the situation, but they've got to be the ones to speak up. (Of course, when they were little if someone did something that was crossing the line in my opinion, I would speak up myself...but even this taught them to discern when things are a big deal).
There's no perfect system for raising kids. Not everything I have tried has worked but there are certain principles I have tried to stick to and these are a few of them.