LOST IN THE SAUCE
In a world filled to the brim with technological advances, it’s easy to get “lost in the sauce” of staying abreast with the latest greatest things. From iPhones to Androids, Cardi B to Nicki, to our current state of political faux pas, there’s a steady stream of information frequenting our brains on a daily. This is why it is vital for us to disconnect from our electronic lives and engage with our children. Of course it’s the most cliché thing to say that “the children are our future”, but they literally are. From the moment they enter into this realm of life, our kids begin they’re journey of influence on the world. It is totally up to us as parents to make it as smooth as possible. And while we can’t always control the bumps and bruises that may come along the way, we can most definitely prepare them for impact. So put down your phone, pre-record your favorite show, and rearrange your schedule to include spending time with your children. Fatherhood isn’t solely about being physically present. It’s about being mentally, spiritually, and emotionally involved. Time dedicated to your kids is invaluable and while it may seem menial at times, it will pay off in the most rewarding way possible. Get involved, get involved!
A Guiding Light
We’ve all heard the age-old adage “the power of life and death is in the tongue”. While we may have committed this bible verse to memory to satisfy the approval of our grandmothers, it has also proven to rein true in many aspects of life. It is especially valid when it comes to raising our children. The energy that we pour into them today affects them tomorrow and forevermore. Confidence and self-esteem building starts at home. Parents set the standard for how their children should require others to treat them, as well as how they should treat themselves. It is imperative that we plant seeds of positivity, encouragement, love, self-assurance, respect, and generosity. Not only does it affect our children, but it builds the legacy for all of the generations to come. Encourage your child’s independence and achievement of developmental milestones. Challenge them to be audacious enough to set and accomplish goals. Comfort them when they fall, but nudge them back onto the path of growth and greatness. Mold your child and hold them accountable so that they learn responsibility and respect. Be their guiding light and set a standard of excellence in your child’s life today. Get involved, get involved!
Living Healthy & Staying Active
With childhood obesity running rampant among our country, it is our duty as parents to lay the foundations of healthy living within our children. According to the CDC, data taken from 2015- 2016 showed that 1-in-5 school age children and young people (6 to 19 years old) in the U.S. has obesity. Now, in 2018 those statistics have changed with it now being 1-in-3 children, which increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, depression, and so much more. In order to stop this epidemic in its tracks, we as parents should create a healthy way of thinking and living at home. Living healthy and staying active doesn’t have to always include a pricey gym membership. It can start with a simple brisk 30 minute walk with your children around the neighborhood everyday. Incorporate fun games such as I-Spy to pass the time and make your walk an adventure! Another great way to get active is to visit your local parks. Some designated areas provide workout equipment along their walking trails that are free of charge! Your child will feel like a grown-up when you include them in your workout regimen. We live in the day and age of the internet, so a simple search for home workouts can also satisfy your recommended amount of exercise for the day. No matter how you do it, the most important thing is to get up and get to it. Get involved and stay active today!
Empower kids through Education
Education is the framework upon which the very essence of the world is built. Whether obtained formally or through everyday lessons of life, education sustains us and brings cohesion to the functionality of society. It doesn't matter if you are four or fifty-two, being informed and educated will always keep you two steps ahead. It sets the groundwork for establishing generational legacies. Through it societal issues are solved, technological advances are made, and groundbreaking methodologies are discovered. Diseases are cured, wars are settled, and ideas are formed. We are never too old or too young to learn. It doesn't matter what paths in life we choose, education will guide us. Let knowledge be the beacon of light that leads us to a world of wisdom and intelligence.
MIND, BODY, & SPIRIT
So we’ve talked about finding ways and making it a priority to workout with our children, but we should also dig into the importance of being healthy in mind, body, and spirit for ourselves as well. Let’s face it, our little bundles of joy are also balls of energy. Parents usually engage with their children from the time they wake up until it’s time for bed. Then add in the workday and other routine interactions and it can be pretty daunting. But it doesn’t have to be! Incorporating methods of relaxation and self-care will equip you in being able to keep up with those little ones. From yoga, a gym workout, spa day, movie night out, to even a date night will have you feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on other tasks. It doesn’t have to be a major effort. It can be as simple as meditation. It’s just important as a parent to take care of yourself in order to be able to feel strengthened enough to take care of your children. How can we pour into them if we aren’t pouring into ourselves? Get involved with yourself!
LEAVE THEM BEE
Of course, as parents it is our natural instinct to want to protect and nurture our children. We see them fall and want to run to their rescue. We see them in conflict with another child and we immediately want to come to their defense. Contrary to how we feel, not allowing our children to be independent hurts them more than it helps. You see, within those bumps and bruises of life comes their biggest life lessons that will stay with them for a lifetime. It’s important that we don’t interfere with them receiving those lessons. For a long time, I would always put the task of taking our girls to the playground off on my husband. I just couldn’t bear the thought of not being hands on. It was literally a cringeworthy experience for me. So much so, that I often found myself in tears in the midst of my children’s shrieks of joy. I wanted to kiss every boo-boo, sanitize the slide, and snatch up every child that even looked at my child the wrong way. I found myself overwhelmed and feeling out of control. It became easier for me to just the hand the responsibility off to my husband. He seemed to be the fun one anyway. That is, until one day it hit me that I was missing out on critical moments in their lives that I could never get back. I was missing the opportunity for them to see mommy as fun and relaxed. I was also missing a critical learning moment for myself, and that was that I was the only one in distress. When I let my children go, no one got hurt and they were able to gain a sense of independence and personal responsibility. They learned to resolve conflict with other children and how to treat others with kindness and respect. It also taught them to use their thinking caps and use their imagination to create different ways to play. Most importantly, it allowed my girls to become their own individual selves and it gave me a chance to relax and enjoy watching them grow. Now I can’t imagine not being a part of that. So, today’s tip is to give your children space. Allow them to be independent. Allow them to grow into their own independent selves and to learn the life lessons that are presented to them in those teachable moments. There will come a time when we won’t be there to guide them and it’s important for us to not only give them the tools to survive, but to also trust them enough to implement them.