Over the last couple of month I have had the opportunity to run kids around for many games. As I sit in the front and listen to the kids talk this is what I have observed and learned. Keep in mind as you read this that I am NOT a perfect mother or have perfect kids. I am still raising them, they have their agency and anything could still happen. I also don't know what goes on in every persons home or head, this is just from listening to kids talk.
1. Spend time with your kids: When my kids were little we took them almost everywhere. Mostly I did this because I hated babysitting when I was young and didn't want to put anyone through that. Yes it is a pain to take them to the grocery store, the movie, the restaurant, the doctor and so on, and yes sometimes you need a break. But how are they supposed to learn to behave at the store etc. if they never or rarely go. If you always need to get away and have a break and don't talk to the kids when they are 2 or 6 why do we expect them to not want a break or talk to us when they are 16 or 20. If I don't put in the hard work and endure through the rough patches now, how can I expect to gain the reward of a close relationship later when they really need it as teenagers and after. (Also on a side note when they are with you they learn patience, to budget, proper behavior, and social skills, just to name a few)
2. Family Support: We have made it a priority that sibling attend each others events. Whether games, concerts, or recitals. Many times they are bored. Blake does not enjoy sitting in a car for an hour for piano then straight to YW every Tuesday. Sometimes I don't enjoy him sitting there either. Cora would rather be climbing trees than watching soccer. We also know a handicapped boy that can not mentally or physically sit through an entire game. The world seems determined to beat these young kids down, sometimes even their 'friends' aren't that kind or supportive. Sometimes these kids I hear talking don't even get encouragement from their parents. Where are they going to go looking for that? What are they going to turn to? In an ever downward spiraling world my kids need the love, support, encouragement, and cheering from their family. It might be the only place they get it.
3. Do I know my kids??: Once again I hear how they kids talk. About themselves, others and things they have done. You then talk to the parents and hear how kind, loving and amazing their children are. You should never talk bad about your kids because they will become what you say they are. (Leah has got a bad rap from what I have jokingly said to others and I am trying to improve on that) Whether positive or negative. But at the same time I don't want my head buried in the sand. I don't think some parents have a clue what their kids do or say. Do I? Do I really know my kids? Are they way different in public or at a friends house than I think? I will continue to rely on the Spirit to direct me and hope that I am moving in the right direction.