Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Spoonful of Common Sense

My oldest daughter is about to have her first baby. She is, as we all were, nervous about the parenting challenges that lie ahead. I told her that it is a waste of her energy to worry about the teen years before the teething years. Every child is as different as is every parent who walks miles through the parenting maze. I have often chastised my own mother for not warning me that this job doesn't end once your child blows out 18 candles on their birthday cake. But I have learned it is the one job that you never retire from and rarely live long enough to see the fruit of your labor.

I read many of the mommy blogs to see how the new generation views discipline. I would like to offer a dose of common sense. Here are five basic lessons every child should learn.

#5 Good manners - please and thank you are always appreciated but thank you cards should be sent to those who give a gift, do a kindness, for a teacher or a friend. It is an art that has gone by the way side but makes a huge difference, now and as an adult habit.

#4 Responsibility - no matter how young, children should learn to clean up after themselves. If they take it out, help them to pick it up when they are done. Oh, and set the example...pick up after yourself.

#3 Read! - This is a difficult lesson, but reading is obviously something your child will use for the rest of their lives, even it is as simple as reading directions. Keep it simple and let your child take the lead as to how much they want to read but one day a month (at least) should be a trip to the library. Reading to your child paves the way - and they are never too young!

#2 Tolerance - We are all different and the sooner these differences are seen as points of celebration rather than ridicule the better. Use positive words these differences whether they are of color, religion or disabilities. Be profound in your own behavior toward others.

#1 Kindness - To me this is the same as the "Golden Rule". Treat others as you wish to be treated. Sure it doesn't always work out that way, but for the most part if you smile or offer a kind word to someone, it will come back to you ten fold.

The most common sense approach I have for young parents, is to examine yourself. Buffalo Springfield said it best "Teach Your Children Well". Children imitate what they see and hear. Listen to what you say. Watch what you do. Then listen and watch them - children are a mirror.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Nanny McPhee Returns blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here. I decided to blog because being a grandma coming up on 6 times now, I am eligible for a t-shirt in common sense! That is what a wise grandma would do.


nancygrayce said...

Great advice....although you do have to think about the teen years early enough to equip yourself for them! :)

Wise Grandma said...

You mean like a ticket to Tahiti:-)