You don’t have a degree in primary education, yet here you are regardless. There is a small child in your care and everything you do they watch and repeat. As a de facto educator, it’s tempting to focus on the things you want to teach them, like how they should behave and how to say “please” and “thank you.” However, it’s the lessons they learn which you don’t mean to teach which are damaging. Give off the wrong messages, directly and indirectly, and it may impact their lives in the future.
With that in mind, here are the four life lessons to watch for as a mum.
It’s Okay To Quit
You’re dealing with a demanding toddler and a million errands and there is no help. To say it can get too much is an understatement. When life gets tough, it’s easy to think “screw it; we’ll do something else.” To you, it’s a small defeat. The battle is lost yet the war wages on. To the kids, it’s a sign that it’s okay to quit when the going gets tough. Whether you’re putting together a jigsaw puzzle or want them to learn guitar, you should always follow through, even if it’s only for a short while.
Drinking Solves Problems
Mums do their best not to drink alcohol in front of their children, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t aware of your drinking. How many times have you said, to no one in particular, “God, I could murder a glass of wine”? Children hear this and assume wine or lager, or whatever your tipple of choice is, is a fixer of problems. And, they’ll turn to it in the future because the behaviour has been reinforced. No parent wants their child to book into alcohol rehab, which is why it’s important to curb your intake. Always do it out of sight – when they are in bed – and don’t refer to it within earshot.
Tantrums Win Wars
There you are, minding your business when your son or daughter suddenly throws a wobbler. Because it’s in public, it’s important to put a stop to it ASAP. However, they’ve done it before and understand they will get their way if they continue. In some ways, it’s psychological warfare. Never break as it will encourage them to do it more often. Plus, as adults, they’ll think it will settle disputes and it won’t. Explain to them why they aren’t going to win and then wait for the tears to stop.
Do As You’re Told
Parents love this one because it ends a lot of awkward conversations. But, all it does is teach them to be subservient. When they read the paper and listen to the news, they’ll never question things. In short, your children will become puppets. Mums need to encourage their kids to ask questions and to challenge ideas, even when it doesn’t seem right. This attitude will serve them well in education and the workplace when they are adults.
Kids give us the opportunity to be better, so don’t waste the chance.