I promise I’ll be back soon for good! I still have a few guests posts for you though. I hope you enjoy this one from Mel, who’s going to share some thoughts as a big sister.
My name is Mel and I blog at Head in the Game, Heart in the Sand. I am excited to be here today at Many Waters and share my insight with you. I hope I can provide a unique perspective to the parenting world and although it might not work for everyone, maybe I can help someone, somewhere. Thank you for reading!
When I was five years old, my baby sister was born. I instantly assumed the role of big sister extraordinaire and let me tell you, that was one of the best days of my life. Many years later, my three half-siblings came along and I am blessed to be the oldest of 5! My sisters are 23, 14 and 11 and my baby brother is 5 years old – needless to say, our house is a total zoo come Christmastime! I do not yet have kids of my own, but I have learned quite a few lessons in my many years of big-sistering. I am going to share those tips with you today.
1. Every child is completely different from every other child. Every child needs different things and grows and learns in different ways. Parenting is not one-size fits all.
2. Nor is parenting stagnant. It is ever-changing and shifts as kids’ needs and wants change. Flexibility is the cornerstone of parenting.
3. Living by example is key. Children watch every single thing we do and they do not forget. Providing an example of morality, maturity, and mutual respect are the best ways to raise and mentor good kids.
4. Bad habits will be passed down. Because children watch everything we do, this goes for bad habits as well. Swearing, unhealthy eating, and bad TV habits will be adopted by children if they continuously witness that behavior.
5. Children need constant stimulation. Kids need a variety of activities in order to grow and learn throughout their lives. Providing an outlet for artistic expression, athleticism, musical ability and any array of interests allows kids to be well-rounded adults.
6. Parents will screw up at some point. Thankfully, kids are forgiving and understand that parents are people too. Recover by admitting the mistake and correcting the behavior, once again leading by example so the children do the same.
7. Love is not enough. Children also need rules, guidance, discipline and other structure in order to learn, grow and become happy, healthy adults.
8. But love does heal all. When times are rough and wounds are open: love. When times are good: love. Above all else, love each other and oneself.