Raising kids these days is tough. There are more conveniences, but there are also more distractions and access to more damaging content than ever before. At the writing of this article I am mother to a 21-year-old daughter and 17-year-old son. It can be terrifying to think about them navigating this crazy social and political world. I just want to pack them up and hide them in a bunker until the crazy wears off. Unfortunately, things may get worse before they get better so I must equip them to navigate the world successfully for themselves.
Through the fog of pregnancy and impending motherhood I decided I wanted my kids to know three things. 1) I loved them 2) I accepted them 3) I would make sure they were better prepared to live in the world than I was. I didn’t set out to be the perfect mother or raise perfect kids. I just set out to do the best I could with God’s help.
I read parenting books and researched the best way to make them feel safe and secure. I also wanted to balance their childhood experience with common sense, acceptance, and fun. I screwed up royally, of course, but I couldn’t let those setbacks sabotage my plans to raise amazing kids!
This article is about what I learned along the way and my parenting philosophy. It is by no means perfect, but it is the path I took to raise a daughter who is level-headed, talented, and responsible. It is also the method I used to raise a son who is helpful, generous, funny, and talented too.
Being a successful parent is about being a mature, and responsible adult. It takes time and you will be growing into this amazing person as you raise your children. When you are stable and secure, you can raise stable and secure kids. Here are my 4 strategies for raising awesome kids:
1.) Think positive thoughts
In a world of negativity; negative press. Negative ideals. Negative people, etc. it is challenging to think positive thoughts. People are so easy to point out what’s wrong that they can never truly see the good in anything. If you want to raise positive kids you have to be a positive person and let them hear you speak in a positive way.
2.) Create positive environment
Your home will be what you create it to be because you are the queen of the castle. Create a positive environment for you and your children. What does a positive environment look like? Well it’s more than how it is decorated. It is about openness, honesty, hope, and love. It is a place where your children are safe and free to come to you for guidance, advice, and comfort. They can open up their hearts to you because you are open and loving with them.
3.) Hang out with positive people
Going with this theme of positive experiences you are creating for your children, it the importance of hanging around positive people. Earlier I mentioned the negative influences we see everyday through the media, school, work, and basically all around us. We are the reflection of the five closest people we associate with. If we are associating with mostly negative people we are going to be just as negative as they are. The same is true when we associate with positive people. Their influence will rub off on us and we rub off on our children. Sometimes you must let go or release people who have a negative and/or pessimistic streak. This may include family, friends, and associates who have nothing good to say about people or the world.
4.) Practice forgiveness
I was the champion grudge holder when I was younger, and would cut the people off who offended me or were unfair and disrespectful. I thought I was better than them and would not let go of my righteous indignation. As I got older, I learned that I had a problem with forgiveness and that I was the prisoner to my grudge and anger. I thought that forgiving them would take them off the hook and they would continue getting away with bad behavior. If they didn’t come to me to apologize, then they would never have my forgiveness because they got away with hurting me. It was a miserable way to live. I learned forgiveness is for me not them. It is letting myself off the hook and freeing myself to be happy. My children saw this and learned to eventually become forgiving, happy people.
This is just the beginning, but it is a daily process if you want to become the most influential person in your child’s life. May God bless you through your journey. My prayers are with you.
Samantha A. Gregory is an international speaker and author who empowers women to discover their feminine and financial power so they can positively influence their world and leave a profound legacy. She is also an author, speaker, and consultant. She is the founder and editor of RichSingleMomma.com a personal finance blog for single moms in Atlanta, GA and around the world. In 2008, she started the blog, RichSingleMomma.com as a resource for helping single moms find ways to make extra money and start their own businesses. She firmly believes that single moms can thrive, not just survive!
The Life of a Single Mom is a national, faith-based, nonprofit that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. To date, we have worked with more than 1,500 churches & community groups to start or improve a single mom’s support group in cities throughout the U.S. and beyond. We have a large array of books, curriculum, training materials, and online instructional videos to support ministry leaders who lead single moms. Our single mom programs focus on empowering single moms to grow spiritually, emotionally, financially, and parentally through a number of projects including: Single Mom University, Single Moms Across America, the National TLSM Single Moms Conference, and a variety of programs throughout the U.S. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com