Why I’m letting my kids develop ‘bad habits’

If parenting is about keeping your kids at a distance. And teaching them to cope on their own. And refusing to give them things. And restricting, and routine, and ‘letting them know who’s boss’….. then i am happy to admit, i am really really rubbish at it.

My eldest son and i took a huge sack of stuff to the charity shop (thrift store) the other day. We have an agreement – if he helps me, he can choose a ‘new’ (used) toy from the same place that we  deliver our bag.

When i was speaking with the shop assistant, i happened to mention that agreement. Her response really threw me. “You’ll create a bad habit there if you’re not careful”. I can only assume that by ‘bad habit’ she meant that my son will expect something for helping me.

Some people might call me ‘soft’, but when did being a parent become ‘them against us’? I mean, its ok to give my child a gift right? And its ok to ‘reward’ him for his help? We’re on the same ‘team’. And i love them. And this is not a military operation. I’m not raising a little army.

I’m regularly offered advice (aka opinions) on how to raise my kids. My neighbour will openly tell me that my ‘downfall’ (as she so kindly put it) is that i carry and cuddle my kids too much……that i pick them up when they want me. And that thats wrong.

There’s an army of folks ready to tell me how i should put my kids in their bedroom and let them cry to sleep. How thats the only way i’ll ever get them to sleep alone. The only way i’ll ever stop them waking in the night. I’d really rather not. I like my kids. Even if they do ‘play me like a fiddle’ (to quote another warning i received). Even if i don’t get nearly enough sleep. Even if i often wake with a tiny foot in my face, or a finger in my ear.

I’m not a perfect parent. I probably get it wrong at some point every day. But i love my kids, and i also like them. And here’s the ‘bad habits’ i am happily letting them develop:

1. When they cry, i cuddle them. And i love it.

2. If they need me in the night, they can have me. Anytime. For as long as they want.

3. I carry them. Albeit for less time than i could when they were tiny. But they like to be carried. So i carry them.

4. If they don’t want to eat it, they don’t have to eat it.

5. I buy them treats. When i feel like it. As often as i can afford.

6. If they help me, i reward them. Sometimes its a biscuit. Sometimes its a trip to the park. But i reward them.

7. They can make a mess. This is their house as well as mine. They can leave their toys on the floor, they can leave comics lying around, they can pull out the contents of the bookcase. We’ll tidy it before bed.

If cherishing and treating and keeping my kids close is creating ‘bad habits’, so be it. My kids won’t always be ‘kids’. For now, I’m just throwing myself into it. They’re kids – lets throw caution to the wind and just enjoy it.

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Music

We have a music box at home for the kids. They love it. I’m not sure what the neighbours think though……

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Shortly after my first son was born, I noticed that ‘instruments’ (usually the plastic cheap kind) are popular toys. I LOVE music, so I took this as an opportunity to start collecting beautiful, traditional instruments…….after all, why buy the cheap baby versions?

We have a mix of percussion instruments, whistles, flutes, xylophones (I can’t believe I managed to spell that!), as well as some home made bits and pieces (pots filled with rice for example). The kids love it. I love it.

I’m not sure how I’ll justify playing with it all once they’re no longer interested……..

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Mothers need a bit of love

Its my son’s 3rd birthday this week – and i’d say i’ve learnt such a lot since he came into this world.

ImageMy boy at around 1 month old

 

The learning curve has been immense. I’ve learnt how to look after a baby and watch him grow into a child. I’ve learnt how much child-rearing can and does affect your relationships with others. I’ve learnt the true meaning of unconditional selfless love. And ive learnt that i need to work hard to be the best mother and person i can be – that patience, and understanding, and self sacrifice dont neccessarily come easily or naturally.

Its taken me until now to realise that being ‘the best mother and person i can be’ requires me to care for and nurture myself with as much (almost?) concern and passion as i do my son. I need to optimise my own wellbeing, inorder to ensure that of my boy.

And so i am creating and launching a mum and mum-to-be (because by the way, i am expecting number 2!) range of beautiful natural skincare products. Remember, what we put on our skin, also goes in (look up ‘dermal absorption’ for more info on this).

With any luck, this range should be available from early December, and will include:

A facial serum

A skin repairing body oil (to tackle stretch marks and scars)

A massage oil blend

A small range of traditionally handcrafted soaps

A relaxing balm

A foot butter and a hand/nail butter

Hooray for us dedicated, hard working ladies – time to start giving ourselves some of that love and care. I cant wait to share it all with you, and to start spreading the joy.