The longer I’m a mom, the more convinced I am my kids need half of what I give them. I’m good at offering loads of advice, putting up boundaries and plenty of expectations.
Our world has convinced us they need more stuff, if we could just give them more and more. They need the best schools, activities to fill every hour, the best chance in life to be successful. And mainly, we need to help them conform to the world in the way they dress and act. Be safe, be like everyone else.
Don’t stand out or up. Don’t draw attention to yourself. Don’t be different.
I think they need far less from us. Kids need us to:
By nature, parents are fixers. We make calls, rule our to do lists and get things done. But often, our kids just need us to stop what we’re doing and listen.
2. Provide Security
The world-school, society, even church put demands on our children. Our kids need a secure place they can be themselves, where they can let their hair down and still be loved and accepted–just the way they are.
3. Offer Affirmation
Kids need to be built up. Criticize less, affirm more. They are dreamers. They want the outlandish. The jump in the puddles on purpose! Sometimes we just need to encourage that wild adventure, the bravery to stand, the courage to go against the flow. Be their biggest cheerleader!
4. Be present
Most importantly, they just need us to be there.
“Memo to Moms: Relax! Research shows that not every little thing you do impacts how your kids will turn out—just being there for them makes the biggest impact of all.” -Sharon Begley
It doesn’t cost a lot to be a good parent. They won’t remember the brand names or most of the friends they are trying to impress.
I fail. A lot. But I’m not aiming for what the world tells me my kids need. I’m shooting to give them these four things.
They will remember memories with you.
So, go make some!