As parents, we are our children’s biggest role models in life. Therefore we should always be aware of the things that we do and say around our children, as they are always watching and listening to our every move. We should also know that it’s not the government, society, teacher, neighbour, family member or the cable companies job to raise our kids. Yes, they are there to help on some level, but we are the ones who make up the rules in our homes that our kids will and should abide by at all times. We’re not to just tell our kids to do something, but rather take the time to show them the way in which we would like for it to be done. Also, don’t get frustrated if they don’t seem to get it the first, second or even the third time around. Keep in mind that raising kids requires patience.

The joy and excitement on our children’s faces after they learn something new is priceless. Even better is the comforting feeling you get inside just knowing that your time, patience and effort is paying off.

Take the time to learn about your child’s interests. Children tend to always remember the important things like you showing up for their dance recital on time, taking them fishing, reading their favorite bedtime story 40 times until they fall asleep etc. These are the things that really matter to a child; the quality time that we spend with them, doing the things that they enjoy doing. These are the qualities that they will inherit when they have children of their own. Buying nice things and wanting your child to look great when they go out is not a bad thing. But ten, fifteen and even twenty years from now, what will they remember the most? The nice expensive gift they got for Christmas or when you didn’t show up for their baseball game to share in the excitement as they hit their first home run? As Jesse Jackson once said, “Your children need your presence more than your presents.”

We may not always get the chance to be involved in our kid’s day-to-day activities, but for the most part, find the time to build a lasting relationship with them. Understanding your child is very important, therefore, have a one on one conversation with them from time to time. Allow them to talk while you listen and most importantly don’t judge. By encouraging our children, we are actually helping to build their self-esteem. When children believe in themselves, there is no limit to what they can accomplish. Knowing that their parents believe in them as well will encourage them even more to achieve their goals.

Being a parent is not an easy job. It requires patience, time and effort, but most importantly love. Tell your child how much you love them even when they do wrong.

Remember, children learn by example, therefore, always practice what you preach!

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