Life happens, you remember a lot, but forget other things. I remembered to pick up milk at the store, but I forgot the dessert for a perfect report card celebratory dinner. Though that’s easily fixable, sometimes it’s life lessons that are forgotten and take time to relearn and put into practice.
In parenting, there are a few lessons we teach our children early on, but we seem to forget as time goes on. Below are 3 lessons I know we’re all teaching our children, but may be forgetting to live.
Be kind. You never know the struggles others are going through, but as we all get older, don’t we think we know what those struggles are? As we age, we also form opinions based on interactions with others, about people with “those” struggles. We forget that every person and every story is unique, we stereotype based on previous experiences and we aren’t always kind because we think we have it all figured out. For my co-parenting folks, it's easy to say that we know what's happening in our ex's life that's causing them to act a certain way, but in reality, we don't know what's going on in their lives.
Be patient. Things don’t always go our way. The 2 and 3 year olds we are raising or have raised had tantrums when things didn’t go their way. Now that we’re all adults, we’ve grown out of tantrums, right? As it turns out, not always. You may not be throwing yourself on the ground, kicking and screaming (though that may sound good at times), but think back to the last time something didn’t go your way right away. How did you handle it? Did you get mad, maybe take it out on someone you love, or did you run away from it? Maybe you refused to talk about it? Sometimes we forget that things do work out, but not always the we planned, and our reactions aren’t always our best moments.
Never stop learning. This is kind of a big one. We’re the ones with the answers for our kids, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have questions ourselves. Why do we put so much time and effort into ensuring our kids get the best education they can, but then we stop learning? If you’re struggling with loneliness right now, why not pick up a book to help you get through it? If you can’t seem to find the co-parenting answers, there are classes available to help you with it. You see where I’m going here, instead of struggling, never stop learning.
OK, so that’s all easy to say, but how do you put it into practice? Awareness. Awareness is step 1 to making a change in your life. Do you notice that some of these lessons rang true for you? If so, that’s great! You’re already aware of where you can make a change. If not, take the time to notice what happens in your day-to-day life. Not only will you find yourself being more present, but you’ll see where you can add to your learning and change your habits - not just for a healthier life, but to be the best example you can be for your children.
Children learn more from what we do than what we say. What lessons do you teach your children by showing them? Share them in the comments below.