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  1. #1
    bisous is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Default What have been the most effective things you've done as a parent?

    For me it has been encouraging my kids to be readers. I look back on all the strife and struggles. I remember myself as a parent of toddlers trying to get them to do "enrichment" activities that took longer to put together than to actually play out. Those weren't bad things but they haven't come close to being as effective as taking them to the library regularly and just having books all over the house.

    The other things we've done well are having lots of board games around and playing them with some regularity and family walks.

    The thing I haven't been amazing at is family dinner. We eat together every night but the quality of dinners has declined over the past five years and most nights we're eating at the counter rather than the table and I feel like my kids manners have suffered as a result. And this pains me to say but our quality of NUTRITION has also declined a lot in the past five or maybe honestly ten years. I feel acutely like I need to work on that!

    What about you?

  2. #2
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    I was thinking about this lately as I was looking through old photos for a photo project.
    In retrospect, I think one of the best things we did was provide open ended toys (like Lego and playMobil, And all the sets would be mixed up to do whatever they wanted), books, art supplies, board games and a lot of downtime, which allowed them to create and write. I wasn’t the best at sitting on the floor and playing with them, except for Playmobil and stuff like that lol, but I read to them a lot when they were little, and they were surrounded by books. I’m not sure how much they were wired to be like this. My friend says if she hadn’t over-scheduled her kid that he would be playing video games all day, so I get it. They Did at least two or three structured activities or sports at a time until middle school, when they added more.
    They also saw plenty of TV and movies so it’s not like they were constantly doing productive things lol but they turned out okay
    I also emphasized play dates, partly for my own sanity.
    "Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, "What? You, too? I thought I was the only one." C.S. Lewis

  3. #3
    gatorsmom is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by bisous View Post
    For me it has been encouraging my kids to be readers. I look back on all the strife and struggles. I remember myself as a parent of toddlers trying to get them to do "enrichment" activities that took longer to put together than to actually play out. Those weren't bad things but they haven't come close to being as effective as taking them to the library regularly and just having books all over the house. …

    The thing I haven't been amazing at is family dinner. We eat together every night but the quality of dinners has declined over the past five years and most nights we're eating at the counter rather than the table and I feel like my kids manners have suffered as a result. And this pains me to say but our quality of NUTRITION has also declined a lot in the past five or maybe honestly ten years. I feel acutely like I need to work on that!

    What about you?
    Yes to reading! We didn’t make it to the library often but I had newspapers and books sitting all over the place. For Ds3 it was comic books. But I didn’t care what they read as long as they read. in summertime, reading daily was a requirement before electronics. It worked! They aren’t all avid readers but they do like to read and are comfortable reading about and researching topics.

    Famiky dinners here are nonexistent. My kids all know how to cook (bake, fry, grill, mix up salads, make a balanced meal) but we each eat at our own time. However, I’m very proud of family prayer time. It’s a chance fir everyone to stop what they are doing and come hang out together. We talk about what happened during the day, what the next day is going to look like, thoughts, things that made us angry, things that made us happy, people who are sick and need our help and prayers, etc. We put God before ourselves in a moment of calm and a chance to center. Sometimes we break out giggling. But it’s actually a treasured moment each night for all of us.

    One other thing that immediately pops into my head on this subject. When Ds1 was a baby, a plumber or other tradesman was working at our house in St. Paul and gave me some advice that seemed so wise. He said to always follow through with what we said to our kids. When they were little and acting up, if I threatened timeout I needed to follow through with that threat. He said start out being faithful to my word when they are little and they will believe me when they are older. He was so right. When I tell my high school kids not to stay out past curfew or they’ll lose their phone and car, they believe me because I always follow through. God forbid drugs or alcohol become a problem for any of them. But if they do, I feel confident my kids will believe me when I say the consequences will be very harsh. Dh always had a problem with follow through and now he has a problem getting them to do what he says. He’s getting better because for the last 10 years he’s tired of saying, “Lisa, can you get the kids to mow/empty the dishwasher/ put away their clothes, etc. He asks them and they do a halfhearted job because they know that he won’t do anything to enforce it. Now the oldest 2 are in high school and do what he asks but the middle schoolers still fight him. Always being true to my word means my kids know they can depend on me to be true to my word.
    Last edited by gatorsmom; 10-22-2021 at 06:40 PM.
    "People are made for happiness. Rightly then, you thirst for happiness. Christ has the answer to this desire of yours. But he asks you to trust him." -St. John Paul II

  4. #4
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    Getting early intervention for my child with dyslexia/anxiety/ADD. It allowed him to succeed.

    Purposely creating a welcoming environment so my daughter could tell us sheís gay. She gave specific examples of what I did that made it easier for her. Some were intentional (when talking about being married in the future, I would use the word partner instead of husband) and others were notówe went to the Pride Parade because they have the best floats!
    Mom to:
    DS '02
    DD '05
    Simon--the King Charles cutie
    RIP Andy, the furry first child, 1996-2012

    "The task of any religion is not to tell us who we are entitled to hate but to teach us who we are required to love."

  5. #5
    Kestrel is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Encouraging friends of all kinds/races/genders/ages. Teach understanding of kids and respect of elders.

    Setting up a study space and teaching study skills/notetaking. Organization and notetaking are used throughout schooling, and throughout life. Research skills - "Go look it up." Where would you look to learn how to do that? Who would you ask?

    Money management/budgeting. (working on 12yo now.)

    Teach cooking/cleaning/home repair to all genders. Nothing is "Mom's Job" or Dad's Job".

    Demonstrate respect for others.

  6. #6
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    We moved to a town with great schools that align with our family values, even though we could only afford a very modest house.

    We sought mental health care when necessary.

    We didnít make rules for the sake of making rules. We had/have high expectations, but when our kids earned our trust, we relaxed and let out the leash. No regrets so far.

    We taught them to swim when they were preschoolers.

    We encourage them to work hard at whatever they love. We donít care what that is.

  7. #7
    California is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Good post!

    Lately Iíve been feeling like I messed up a bunch during quarantine. DDs are really struggling to back down on the electronics. So I appreciate a chance to focus on the good stuff.

    Put DC into schools with diverse populations, and traveled. They got to be in the homes of people from other cultures and countries and see differences/similarities.

    My kids have very stable friend groups (even the 12 year old- sheís been best friends with the same girls since kinder.) I am good friends with the moms of my girlsí closest friends. I think we moms have done a good job of role modeling having each otherís backs through thick and thin.

    My kids may argue but they are all talking each other through their various life steps (starting a school club, first high school job, etc.) I think we did a good job of setting a collaborative tone with them.

    I made sure from the start that my kids knew they were welcome to explore other faiths. They are all on their own paths and they feel completely comfortable talking with me. Weíve had really rich conversations. Iím very grateful for that.

    DS is in college and he does not have a favorite meal that he wants us to make when he gets home, because he learned how to make all his favorite recipes. He uses the common kitchen in his dorm. Heís had up over 30 residents show up when he starts baking, so he bakes for a crowd. That feels good! We were/are a welcoming house for all DCís friends, and I love that DS has a welcoming energy.

  8. #8
    niccig is offline Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    Default What have been the most effective things you've done as a parent?

    Therapy for me so I didnít let how I was raised influence my parenting. I think weíre doing ok as DS spends time with us


    Sent from my iPhone using Baby Bargains
    Last edited by niccig; 10-23-2021 at 12:17 AM.

  9. #9
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    Prioritizing their sleep. When they were babies our routine of naps, feeding, and bedtime was sacred. We planned activities around that schedule. Even now at 12 and 14 they both know the importance of sleep and a reasonable bedtime. As a teacher DH sees the impact on kids who get little to no sleep.


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    Mom to two amazing DDs ('07 & '09) and a fur baby.

    Gluten free since Nov '11 after non-celiac gluten sensitive diagnosis. Have had great improvement or total elimination of: migraines, bloating/distention, heartburn, cystic acne, canker sores, bleeding gums, eczema on elbows, dry skin and scalp, muscle cramps, PMS, hair loss, heart palpitations, fatigue. I'm amazed.

  10. #10
    bisous is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Ok I just love these. I love to see the years of dedication and the payoff. It is so fun to read how different they each are. It is very inspiring!

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