As an “older” mum I have the wonderful opportunity of seeing how our children have grown and developed and also to see their parenting skills in action.
Was our parenting successful?
Did we scar them for life by some action or non-action of ours?
Did resentment at some rules we set last into adulthood?
These are worries that often beset young parents as they navigate the shoals of bringing up their child/children.
We had great difficulty having children due to advanced endometriosis and were told after 3 bouts of surgery that our specialist felt that I was 99.9% certain to never conceive.
But he went on to say that “ I never say 100% because God works in mysterious ways” and he was right. Three months later I was pregnant but because of the drugs I had been given to control the endometriosis they weren’t sure how the baby would be affected.
When he was born he had breathing difficulties and spent the first week in intensive care but quickly recovered and we took him home in fear and trembling. When he developed Colic my husband wanted to rush him to hospital immediately but fortunately a nursing friend persuaded him against it and more valuably gave us useful tips on how to deal with the Colic.
We gradually relaxed but were advised if we wanted more children to try again immediately and our second son was born a year later. It took us another five years to produce another son and that was it.
We found that the best cure for nervous parents is to have another child quickly. You are more confident and just don’t have time to worry about every little thing. It’s better for your first child not to remain the centre of attention and to realise early that the world does not revolve about them.
We soon found that our original, beautifully polished theories of child rearing went out the window and we had to rethink how to deal with these small people in our care.
These were our conclusions:
- Always present an united front. Children can scent any wavering and take advantage.
- Lots of hugs and kisses and that includes the children. Obvious affection between the parents gives the children security.
- Laugh a lot with the family. Never be afraid to act in a ridiculous way, the kids love it.
- Listen to them. Something minor to you can be quite devastating to them.
- Don’t be afraid to set reasonable rules. Children like to know the boundaries.
- If you threaten consequences, follow through. Just make sure that the consequences are within reason.
- Children won’t remember if the house was always perfectly tidy but they will remember if the house was a place of warmth and welcome.
- And most important, tell them you love them at least once a day. As teenagers they’ll go “Ahhh” but secretly they value it.