We need an “Upgrade”! Our family's New Year resolutions...
Updated: Jan 15, 2019
Without a doubt, one of the most challenging and yet most rewarding experiences in life is to be a parent. Helping your children grow and mature is truly a gift to cherish. Yet, as many parents know, we may not always feel that way. It can be very difficult at times, especially when temper tantrums, yelling & talking back displace normal conversations. That’s when I realized that some of my parenting techniques need to be “upgraded”!! As my kids get older, I recognize that it is their way of exerting independence and while it did catch me by surprise, upon reflection I felt that perhaps it was me, who needed to reflect and ‘upgrade’ myself with a better parenting mindset.
The first born - oh, how much I am learning and realizing that I have babied my son! I am always in control, trying to do everything, to make sure it's done right but I failed to realize that failure is part of growing up and giving them a choice builds their independence. My first “upgrade” is giving my son some sense of independence and having him rely less on ME and more on himself!!! In reality, I am the one that needs an “upgrade” and it’s time to step back as my son is very excited to start making his own small choices. We are starting with allowing him to make his own wardrobe choices, setting up a daily schedule for homework & house chores which earns him points that can be redeemed later. The hardest change for me has been letting go and encouraging him to solve his own minor problems. We have just started this and I am hoping in few months I will have an update on our journey.
I don't know about you but there is nothing that makes me go ballistic - more than when my child throws a fit when they don’t get something they want or tell me “Mommy, it’s only $5 - it’s not expensive”! Excuse me, mommy has to work to earn this money! I get very upset, as I don’t want to raise entitled kids and I take it very personally. I always start to think, “ I just took my day off from work to do something fun as a family and instead of being appreciative and happy, they are ungrateful?!”. Perhaps it's due to my very modest immigrant upbringing as child that makes me very careful with money but I realized that the best way to teach the value of money to kids is by leading by example. We have stopped buying gifts for no reason (expensive or cheap). I want them to learn the value of each dollar and know that it's hard earned money, regardless of the amount. They have a daily chores list that they need to complete to earn points and using these points, they earn weekend rewards (video games, staying up longer, movies, family games, etc). Also, they earn money if they they get certain grades in school. As he has his own money to spend at the store, he is starting to think twice before he buys something.
Another ‘upgrade’ that we are working on is involving our kids in doing things together as a family, for example meal time prep and cooking, which is not only a great way to bond but also to teach them good healthy habits that will stay on with them, long past after we have gone. Not to forget delicious Russian food! Growing up with immigrant parents, who have started their lives from scratch in this country have taught me a thing or two about hard work and work ethic. Now is the time to start showing my kids the value of hard work in small steps, and possibly have them cook a meal! Now I’m dreaming… :)
We are making small but important ‘upgrades’ in our lives and as a family I hope we can all practice more gratitude and be more mindful in our lives. 2018 was an amazing year that offered us rich lessons and wishing for 2019 to be an even better year (hopefully a calmer one too) :)
New Year brings a fresh start and a chance to improve things, what changes are you making for your family?
As always, Unleash Your Kids Interests!
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