Post # 1
I have been asking myself a lot lately, what are the things that make a difference in the intelligence and life outcome of a child. I have two children, four and six, so this is a very real and necessary question. My husband and I are both trying to give our children the best chance to maximize their potential while giving them a happy and well rounded childhood. We have a happy family who does a lot of things together, they have a large social circle of friends, they take violin lessons, they have a spanish tutor, my oldest is getting ready to start irish step dance and my youngest is starting swimming lessons. I find myself wondering, does the stuff that we are doing really matter? Are there things that we are not doing that we should be doing? What do you think are things that matter in parenting, both to produce a successful child and a happy child?
Post # 3
Well I’l answer from personal experience as a child and not as a parent, (I don’t have kids).
I come from a very happy, stable home while my Darling Husband comes from a remarkably opposite home situation. (miraculously he turned out ok). The biggest diffirence I see in our upbringing is that my parents, (and grandparents), always supported me and my choices. They instilled in me an ingraned feeling of acceptance and support no matter what. This obviously had a huge positive effect on my self esteem and my willingness and ability to take risks. I always know that no matter what, my family will love me and be there for me to help me or just to cheer me on. This has really shaped me as an adult in every aspect of my life in the most positive ways and enabled me to get where I am today. If there is one thing I can do for my future children is make them feel just as supported and accepted.
Darling Husband unfortunately never had that. No one came to his sporting events, (in fact he was discourage from participating at all), no one encouraged him to go after what he wants and he was told quite often he wasn’t good enough. This has made him doubt his choices and actions as an adult. Since we’ve been together I’ve tried my hardest to reverse that negative effect, (and it’s working), but there’s a long road ahead.
Post # 4
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
DS and I have had this conversation. He’s quite the insightful teen, so I love hearing his insights on these things. According to DS, we’ve done well by him because we allow him to pursue his interests, no matter how odd they may be, and we don’t force him to pursue things just because we want him to do them. We’ve also done well in providing him with a wide variety of information, information sources, and perspectives, and have allowed him to come to his own conclusions. The last thing that DS says we have done well is that he knows we have his back and that we are fair handed in dealing with things.
As a parent, my goal is to raise a free thinking young man with a solid moral compass who is self-sufficient and who has the mental/emotional resources to deal with the curves that life throws at him. Anything else is gravy.
Post # 5
I can tell you from my perspective as a child and now as a parent, encouragement and support in their individualism is the most important thing. I was forced into many years of piano lessons. I hated it, learned literally nothing, and it was a huge waste of my mother’s time and money putting me in lessons. The second I tried out for a high school play and made it, I became so happy, my grades improved and I developed a life long passion.
I think that encouraging kids to try things they normally wouldn’t is great, trying to formulate it down to a science (as my mom did) for maximum potential is bad. It results in overworked stressed out kids who have a boatload of expectations on their shoulders at a young age. Kids have their own way of showing you who the best version of themselves can be, and that’s what I’m so fascinated to discover as my daughter gets older. I personally think I have a budding science geek on my hands, so I will be starting to mention astronomy summer trips soon, even though I’d personally rather she take up ballet!
As far as a moral and emotional compass, I will always lead with the disclaimer that I am not perfect. Mommy is going to make a lot of mistakes, but I’ll always learn from them and be better tomorrow. For now that’s all I can ask her to understand.
Post # 6
Raising them with morals, manners, and values are extremely important. Raising them knowing that people are more important than things. Letting them be who they are and not who you want them to be. I think those are all essential in raising a child.
Post # 7
This is a loaded question!
From a child perspective, the best thing my parents did for us was to ensure that we learned to be independant and were raised with good, solid morals and values. We learned to be tolerant, but also spoke up for ourselves. My parents also exposed us to a lot culterally (museums, art galleries, etc) which fostered my love for fine art and later, painting (which I still do, although my husband wishes I would do it more often!). There were a lot of vacations, hikes, picnics, etc.
From a parent perspective, we encourage our children to think outside of the box. We play games with them that encourage their spatial thinking skills. Creativity is important in this house and I feel, helps the kids out in ways they will only realize later in life. Another big decision that we made was to cut the cable in our house. It has worked wonders for the girls. We spend as much time as we can outside and encourage healthy eating habits. Both of our kids do extracurricular activies and, unlike my parents, our children are allowed to choose what they would like to particpate in. My parents forced us into team sports and we ended up hating it and resenting them. We like to see what our kids are interested in and support them in figuring out what they like. Passion is so important these days and not enough people have it!
Things that didn’t end up mattering at all? How many toys they got for Christmas, or their birthday. Things they totally remember? That funny thing their Aunt did at their birthday, or how their Dad knocked over the Christmas tree. Their memories are going to matter a whole lot when it comes to family.
Post # 8
Fiance and I came from very different upbringing, and it has really made us think about how we will raise our own children. My parents were always there for me, even when they were working opposite shifts. My dad never hesitated to play with me, whether it was throwing the ball around, teaching me to ride a bike or just play fighting in the house. My mom would sit on the couch and rub my hair till I fell asleep at night, or sit and read patiently while I was at an activity, or if I was sick and wanted her there. They put me in activities (baseball, dance, horses) and always cheered me on, supported me, encouraged me. When I was sick they looked after me, when I got in trouble they scolded me with disappointment. They goofed around with my friends, gave me freedom when I asked for it, which was tough for my mom, and most of all they made me feel special and loved. Someone of my best memories are from camping with my parents, I remember very little about stuff that I had, I remember everything about how my parents were there for me. My parents also made sure to make me aware that even if they got in fights, that they loved each other very much, and they would sit down with me and have honest open discussions about anything that needed to be talked about.
My Fiance basically grew up with video games, as his parents were much older, his dad was a trucker, gone all the time and his mom has basically miserable. His family is very materialistic yet have nothing so are always uphappy. Nobody came to his baseball games, nobody encouraged him to do anything, he spend most of his time at his friends houses, just because he didn’t want to listen to his mother complain about how shitty their life was. His dad basically tried to buy his love rather than just sitting on the floor and playing with him, or actually taking an interest in his life. The only thing I have found his family to be good at is to tell you when your not good enough. I have never in the 7 years I have known him heard his mother tell him good job for anything. His sister is 17 years older than him, he tells me all the time that is sister was a better parent than his mom ever was.
Honestly it has left him with very little motivation to do anything, he feels like he is going to fail before he ever starts, he barely made it through school because he just didn’t care, figured it didn’t matter anyway.
Post # 9
@Meowkers: “The biggest diffirence I see in our upbringing is that my parents, (and grandparents), always supported me and my choices. They instilled in me an ingraned feeling of acceptance and support no matter what. This obviously had a huge positive effect on my self esteem and my willingness and ability to take risks. I always know that no matter what, my family will love me and be there for me to help me or just to cheer me on.”
This is exactly how I was brought up and I agree, I think it played a huge role in my success today and future successes going forward.
Post # 10
Thanks ladies. It is really intersesting to see what it is that people attribute value to from their own childhoods.