The 3 Things you Must Say to Your Kid
Mindful Parenting 101
First Before We Start . . .
If you follow me, I recommend you do, you know that I’m a tough love, motherly, and mindful. I believe that: You can’t sell real estate you don’t own.
Or beware of the naked man who offers you his shirt.
The patient person eats ripe fruit.
Parenting is not “do as I say, not as I do”. my Mother
Parenting is “be the change you want to see.” Gandhi
Daily, sometimes hourly, things come up with my kids and I must stop and think — what do I want to teach? Do I own it? Is it in the best interest of the family? You can figure out your own set of questions but these may serve you and your family.
#1 I love you. No matter what.
Kids need unconditional love. If you can’t do that . . . we have problems. Love is not based on grades, a job, ACT scores, performance on the field . . .
Love just is. We need to love our kids because we created them and they are part of us. We are all walking each other home. I say that often and think it constantly. How can I love them no matter what and help them on their journey.
It is hard. Try harder. Love harder. Forgive yourself for being judgmental.
Standing in love leaves no room for fear.
#2 Allow kids to take Ownership
We didn’t have the right words and said “I want you to be more responsible.” As soon as the words left his mouth I knew it wasn’t the best choice. Instantly, he knew too. But that is all we had in that moment.
A few hours later, the best word choice came to me.
My kid is amazingly responsible. But . . . since our parenting style can be helicopter-ish, he doesn’t always take ownership.
We talked, my kid and I. I told him how I had a much better word and when I shared it he gave me that side smile a young man can give his mom that melts her heart, all was right again. He felt loved and respected. He agreed that ownership was a much better word vs. responsibility. He also agreed to take more ownership.
#3 I Support You
I tell my kids, “when you f-up, you fix it.” Simple, right?
Kids don’t come into the world with a tool box — you provide the tools one teaching moment at a time. When kids do the stupid things kids do because their brains aren’t plugged in, we need to lovingly point out the discretion and help them fix it. If they need help. Sometimes we just need to say:
That’s not ok.
or my favorite one is, “Not in my f-ing house.” Yes, I swear. I swear because it makes them listen, it verbally shakes things up. I swear because it is a bad habit. I swear because they are old enough to hear a larger vocabulary that includes swear words.
We recently had an incident in my home that was not ok with me. I know the boys that were at my house that night and as they find themselves in my home again I let them know, emphatically, I will not tolerate it again. My exact words were, “xyz happened. I’m pissed. I feel disrespected on many levels. I understand kids do stupid things sometimes, I get that. Do stupid things in your own house and not mine. Any questions?”
I set boundaries to keep everyone safe and I support the decisions that the kids make inside and outside the boundaries. Kids do stupid things and they need to know that we may not like it, we can still help them fix it.
Remember, you provide the tools one teaching moment at a time.
Remember, you provide the unconditional love, no matter what.
Remember that kids need to own their own lives. Wording matters.
Most of all remember, you can’t give what you don’t have. Be love. Be supportive. Forgive.
Until we meet again.