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May 24, 2019

posted May 26, 2019, 8:01 AM by Christine Roman
Dear Parents and Guardians, 

If you have read my previous newsletters, you know that I follow Tim Elmore’s blog on Leading the Next Generation.  This week he said, “Developing great kids is work. Perhaps more work than any of us realized. Especially today. I compare it to the difference between a wedding and a marriage. We all love weddings because they’re about romance and love. They are an event to celebrate. Only later do we realize how much work it requires to experience a good marriage. One is an event. The other is a process. So it is with children. The birth of a child is a celebration, but the act of parenting is where the real work starts. To be blunt, the “labor pains” really begin the moment we begin raising our children. We need to be celebrating parents who do the “work” of developing great future adults.” 

As you know, I am not married and have no children.  But I have been fortunate to be an aunt and godmother to some amazing young people.  I have watched my sister, brothers, and best friend raise their children.  I have witnessed all of my siblings, my parents, and close friends as they have adventured in their marriages for over 25+ years.  I have seen the good, bad, and ugly! Yes, I don’t live it 24/7 but I have witnessed enough to know that parenting is not an easy task. 

I spent time with my Mom on Wednesday and Thursday this week hanging in my dad’s room at the nursing home.  To pass the time, I told her what this week’s article would be about for our weekly newsletter.  Then I asked her if she had any advice to share.  Here is what she shared: 
  1. Don’t try to “keep up with the Joneses.”  Teach and model with your children that you don’t need the newest clothes, sneakers, cellphone, or car.  Don’t waver on your house rules or morals just because “others are doing it.” 
  2. Give your children a daily chore without an allowance.  Children need to learn that being part of a family takes everyone chipping in to get things done.  Growing up, my siblings and I had a daily chore,  and it rotated every week.  Our chores were taking out the trash, setting and clearing the table and emptying the dishwasher.  We also helped my dad shovel when it snowed and raked the leaves in the yard. 
  3. Don’t be their friend, be their parent.  Children need to understand that there is a difference.   
  4. Make your family your priority.  Spend time with them.  Play catch outside, go for a walk, watch a TV show together, teach them how to swim, cook together, snuggle reading a book and have dinner together.  Get off your phones as adults! Don’t give cell phones to elementary-aged children.  Teach your children how to play (and play with them)—cards, chess, and board games. Laugh, smile, joke, and talk—all of those things will create lasting memories and a true family! 
Have a great long weekend!