Parenting Hindsight Successes – Fresh from my parenting hindsight mistakes column, I’m returning with some tips that have worked quite well thus far in raising my “approaching adulthood teens. I’m due for a self pat on the back after beating myself up a little :).
It’s nice to reflect on some of the positives. Hopefully these tiny tips and insights can help newer moms. At the very least, knowing there has been success motivates me to think hard about new strategies to implement as I head toward the potholes of the teen years!
Parenting Hindsight Successes and Tip 1 – Great Sleep Schedules
It took a while to unlock the mystery of an infant sleeping through the night but once they found that groove, they never let go and I haven’t forgotten the importance of a balanced sleep schedule. I’m not militant about it and it’s hard to perfect but I’ll give myself kudos for not letting the sleep patterns stray too heavily. Both of my kids have few sleep problems and it’s comforting knowing they sleep as well as they do and can also wake-up as well as they do. Here are some tried and true tips to help kids of any age sleep through the night.
Parenting Hindsight Successes and Tip 2 – My kids aren’t sugarholics
As kids, a lot of us were raised on ordering a Coke with every restaurant meal or allowed sugary drinks at home. When my kids eat at restaurants with the freedom of the entire menu, they order water (or sometimes iced-tea) with their meals. I chalk that up to limiting the fruit juice and sugary drinks since they were toddlers. Now, they really don’t have a “taste for” sugar and I couldn’t be happier about it. It’s a tough tip to apply but one I highly suggest… the earlier the better. The biggest obstacle I’ve had is Capri Sun-soaked school parties and youth sports post-game “celebrations” where it is somehow customary to load kids with cookies, Cheetohs, & gatorade after soccer game?! I see my kids’ friends sucking down energy drinks, Gatorade, and pop while mine drink unsweetened tea. I’m proud of that.
Parenting Hindsight Successes and Tip 3 – I knew when to “cut bait”
This came out of necessity. Kids have so many choices as to hobbies and activities they can try to become involved with – far more than when I was growing up. I wanted my kids to be able to try them all. Art, music, sports, individual sports etc. Unfortunately, it was impossible to afford everything or have time for every passing fancy. So, I learned early to try to involve them with everything with knowing when to bail or “cut bait” on the ones that weren’t going anywhere and being able to spot early when my son or daughter would begin to lose interest – even a little. Now, my and my daughter are able to focus on their core strengths and interests and my husband and I are able to distinguish which activities will help them grow and which are likely just a temporary money pit.
So, I’ve struck out a lot… and I’ve hit some home runs. What successes (and blunders) have you made? And… any quality tips I could use heading into the dreaded teen years?
Whew! It’s way more fun to talk about the Parenting Hindsight Successes than it is the mistakes!