Hi! It’s Alena, mother of four amazingly insane kids.
Raising kids is tough, raising responsible kids even tougher.
Coming from a large family and being a middle child didn’t afford many opportunities to slack on chores. We each had a job. If we didn’t do them, our big brothers were around to make sure we did. While I might have been able to smile my way around my Father, there was no moving my older brothers.
Having my own children made me realize the things my parents did to teach and prepare us for our future as adults and now, parents.
My first tip is basic, but the benefits make it worth mentioning.
1. Have your children help.
Over time I developed a chore chart for every day of the week, each child rotating chores. Thus no need to hear (insert whining tone) “It’s her turn, she never has to do it.”
They learn how to perform each task from washing dishes, to sweeping and taking out the trash.
I want my kids to leave the house with the ability to run their own households, so I didn’t stop with kitchen chores. They clean and cook with me too.
When I’m in the kitchen so are they, especially on Sundays, our day to eat as a family.
Do you know what wonderful by-product came from this? We talk. We laugh. Sometimes we even throw food. Do you know what happens as a result?
Family Time = Memories = Priceless
My second habit might confuse you, but hear me out.
2. We must greet each other.
Sounds strange? As a child whenever we came home or left, we had to find our parents and greet them. I continued this habit with my children. Hugs are mandatory. Kisses are optional, but always welcomed.
Doesn’t seem like much does it? Wait a few years. Teenagers, especially teenage boys.
Make it mandatory for them to greet you when they arrive home and say goodbye when they leave.
Time passes and before you blink they are gulp, driving. Once they get those keys, they make The Flash look slow.
When they come home after school, after a game or whatever social event, I get a hug and sometimes even a kiss.
The side benefit?
Often they plop themselves on my bed and talk. Or they walk into my study and give me a glimpse into their world.
This does wonders for a Momma’s heart.
What about you? What have you done to foster a good relationship with your children?
What did your parent’s do that made you want to stay and talk with them or run for the hills?