Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Simple Tips for Rearing Amazing Kids

When a teacher asks your husband and you if you're going to have more kids 
you might get a weird look on your face.  
When she goes on to explain that your boys are amazing, 
you understand, she wants more kids in her class like yours.

How did we rear such awesome kiddos?
Here it goes in a nutshell...

1. Say what you mean and mean what you say.  
Our boys know that when we tell them something 
we will do our best to follow through, good or bad.  
Idol threats or unkept promises are not how we do things around here.

2. Set boundaries. 
Kids need to know what is and is not okay in your family.  
If we told them something was not okay we surely followed through if they crossed the line.  
If kids know the expectations they will meet them.

3. Have routines.
From the time our boys were little we did things with them a certain way.
They always knew what to expect because we had a routine.  
Not always flying by the seat of your pants gives kiddos security 
and it helps everyone have a better day.

4. Listen to their stories.  
Our kids come to us and talk about everything.  
One thing their dad and I do almost without thinking is stop what we're doing and listen.  
All the little stuff they shared as munchkins has opened the door, 
so sharing teenager issues is totally normal and common.  
People have been surprised when the boys tell us about things
 that they did that were not great choices. 
 They know they can share anything with us 
because we're not going to start screaming.

5. Hang out together.  
Giving your kids your time is so simple, yet it can be totally overlooked.
Dinner is a great time to all be together.  
The middle of a Sunday afternoon is a great time to be silly, watch a movie, or just talk.  
Reading to my boys every night before bedtime 
will always be one of my favorite memories.

6.  Let them be kids.  
Our boys were mud loving, dirt digging, play fighting, paper creating little guys.  
We did not push them to be academic all-stars until it was time for them to go to school.  
Their job was to learn and grow and explore.  
We tried sports here and there, but we never pushed a busy schedule of activities.  
We firmly believe they need time to just figure things out.  
We do not need to fill every moment of their day with something. 

7.  Be encouragers. 
If your kid loves drawing make sure they have paper, pencils, and crayons to bring their heart to life.  
If your kid wants to make video games get them into programming. 
If your kid is a reader take them to the library or thrift store.  
If your kid is a builder make sure they have things to build with everyday.  
If they are excited about something, be excited with them!

8. Laugh with them.
When guests stay in our home they almost always comment on the laughter heard here.  
We love to laugh and some things that kids say or do are just hilarious.  
Teaching them to enjoy life is an awesome gift.

It is not hard or expensive to guide your kids into growing up to be amazing. 
The most important thing we have given our boys is our heart.  
We love them.  
We show it by setting boundaries, following through, listening, encouraging, and giving them our time.
I'm sure there are a million other little things we have done, 
but it all comes down to the most simple and valuable thing a parent can do...
Love your kiddos fiercely.

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