Some of us didn’t have ideal parents, so when we have children, we don’t really know where to start. Being a young mother myself, I can relate. You are lost and wonder how can I take care of myself and raise this child too. Well it is possible. You have to go with your heart and common sense. My relationship with my son who is now an almost 18-year-old young man, is the most important thing to me.
But any young mother watching the news wonders how can I bring a child into this world? How to keep my child from being a statistic? The questions will give you migraines, there are so many. I looked at everyone I knew, what they did wrong, what they did right and how did their kids turn out. I made my own rules from there.
Raising a child is only as hard as you make it. Here are my simple rules for raising a well-rounded young man/woman:
RULE 1: Have “mama/son/daughter date-My son and I always have mama/son date. Every two weeks like clock work we would go catch a matinée and a meal. (It’s wrestling season, so it’s once a month dinner). We would both get dressed up and enjoy a movie. I would let him pick one week and then the next time would be my choice. Do this consistently once a month is good also, but set a date and stick to it no matter what!! Matinee movie prices are the best and sign up for coupons for popcorn and snacks. OTHER “DATE” IDEAS: Family game night can be substituted once a month. You can find board games on sell a garage sales really cheap. Family outside activity is fun too. We often do tennis or run the track on a nice Sunday. Go to the park with a Frisbee or have a picnic.
RULE 2: Teach then RESPECT– Maybe it is a southern thing, however ma’am and sir is a requirement in and outside of my home. I have stressed this since he could talk. Times when he forgets and says “Yes” instead of “yes ma’am”, I will give him ‘the look’ and say “excuse me.” He always corrects himself. When people tell you he doesn’t have to say that, correct them. That is your child and teaching him respect should start early and be enforced by you. Show them respect also, the way you carry yourself and talk to people should reflect how you want your child to be. It is always nice to hear people say how respectful of a young man he is.
RULE 3: Raise a gentlemen/lady– I started my son at an early age to open doors for me. Every one loves a gentleman. I would stand at a door until he opened it, after a while he got the hint. I would tell him “if a man is around a woman should never touch a door.” The biggest issue now is that he will hold it open for everyone coming in behind us. This can be cute and irritating at the same time, so I told him he has a five person minimum unless they are elderly. With young girls, teach them how to let a man open the door for them. Many young ladies are surprised when my son holds the door for them.
RULE 4: Date someone with quality-I throw this in because being a single parent who only wants the best for their child, I advise everyone DON’T DATE SOMEONE WHO IS NOT WHAT YOU WANT YOUR CHILD TO BE! If you want your son to be a hardworking, respectful, young man don’t bring around a guy that is opposite of that. It is not fair to your child to tell them about working hard to get ahead in life and you are bringing around someone who doesn’t work or respects you.
RULE 5: Be Supportive-If you don’t go cheerlead them when they are good, you will most likely visit them when they are bad. Family is first! When my son first decided to wrestle in 10th grade, I was not happy. That was my baby and I didn’t want him to get hurt. I had to get over that, as a young man he has to be tough and make his own decisions. Even though, years later it pains me to see him wrestle and hurts even more to see his face when he looses, I am there. Honor roll assembly, I’m there. Eating lunch with him once a month (elementary and middle school), I’m there!
There are many more rules (adjust as you need to), however a child is a direct product of nature/nurture. Let your heart guide you. SHOW THEM WHO TO BE BY YOUR ACTIONS. Teach them how to balance a checkbook, do a vision board, and even a resume (it’s never too early). Even in this day and age of one parent homes, violence and peer pressure, you are the most contributing factor to their success. “The houses that still stands after storms are the ones with a strong foundation.”