I never feel like I'm doing enough as a parent.
I have this feeling almost every single day and I think most parents, at some point, feel the same way.
I ask myself...
do I talk to my children enough?
am I teaching them everything they need to know to become well functioning adults?
do I spend enough time reading with them?
should I sign them up for more extra-curricular activities?
am I doing a good job as a mother?
do my children think I'm doing a good job as their mom?
To answer my own question I have to ask another: Am I trying my hardest to be the best mom that I can be?
If your answer is yes, great! The best thing we can do as parents is to do our best. Don't get me wrong, none of us are perfect so I always feel like there is room for improvement. But when I analyze my life and my day-to-day routine, it overwhelms me when I try to think of what I could do more of or do better when it comes to my parenting.
So...over the last couple of days I've really been trying to think of ways to improve my "parenting skills".
Sidebar: As you read more and more of my blog posts, you'll notice that I tend to get a little distracted. I quoted "parenting skills" because I wasn't sure I wanted to use it in the above sentence and decided to Google it in order to figure out whether to use the term or not. Anyway...here is what I found just in case you were wondering....
Parenting Skills: "The child-parent relationship has a major influence on most aspects of child development. When optimal, parenting skills and behaviours have a positive impact on children’s self-esteem, school achievement, cognitive development and behaviour." (Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development)
Okay, back to where I was going with this! Below is a list of things I plan to add to my daily routine with my children. Because we are always on the go, living in our car, at the gym, or at some sort of activity, I think doing these will help with overall connecting with my children, will help them in school, and just improve my relationship with them. Try some or all and let me know what you think. Suggestions are always welcome!
- Believe it or not, your child(ren) wants to talk to you. they just don't know how. Instead of asking them "How was school?", ask some of these and I promise, you'll get more than the typical one-word answer.
- Which one of your teachers would survive a zombie apocalypse? Why?
- What is the most popular thing to do at recess?
- What is one thing you hope to learn before the school year is over?
- If aliens came to school and beamed up 3 kids, who would you want them to take? Why?
- Did anyone make you mad today?
- If you don't already have one, get a library card. Go weekly or bi-weekly.
- If you spend a lot of time on the go, keep plenty of books in the car. Instead of listening to music, use this time to let your child read to you. If they get stuck on a word, have them spell it out to you and you assist with either telling them the word, or help them sound it out.
- Food is Memories. I Googled "food" and that phrase popped up and is so true. Cook from recipes even if you know what you're doing. Let you child read the recipe to you. Not only will it help them with their reading, but use this time as a way to bond with them. Cooking with your child(ren) can create some of the best memories that you will be able to talk about years from now. I have pictures of my children cooking with my grandmother and I'm glad they've had that experience because that's something they will hopefully cherish later in life.
- Physical Activity is very important in my house. I workout 4-5 times a week. The gym I go to, luckily for me, has childcare included in the membership at a very affordable rate. Unfortunately, my oldest doesn't really care to go there everyday for the 2 hours I spend working out. If you frequent the gym as much as I do, try staying home or going to the park once or twice a week and include your child in your workouts. I would try to make you read and interpret some good workouts you can do with you child, but instead I've created a video to show you. Check out the video below and let me know what you think. And as always, have fun!