Growing up I had this idea that I was going to be the best mom in the world because I knew how I was going to parent. I would look at little kids and judge the parenting style of the parent. I would think, “if they just did it this way…” as if I had all the answers. Now that I am a mom, I realize how naive I was. I was judging something that I knew nothing about. I have realized there is more to parenting than having a parenting system, you also need to have healthy parenting habits. The smallest habit can really affect your upbringing. I wanted to share with y’all some of the parenting habits that I have implement – and some that I don’t – that I think will be a big impact on my kid’s lives.
Growing up I never said “I love you” to my family and I never really heard it back. We all knew we loved each other so we just trusted that. It was part of our culture to not say it. I thought it was weird that families said it to each other, but it turns out I was the weird one. Once I realized that I also realized how much it affected my self-esteem, and even how I view love. I had to do a lot of soul searching and growing up to be able to understand what the phrase means to me.
I don’t want my kids to grow up thinking that saying “I love you” is weird. Love is such a beautiful feeling, and I want them to be able to express it. So Micah and I decided that our kids will never go a day without hearing I love you from us and we are going to teach them to say it every day. It’s something that is so simple but I know it will make a big difference in their lives, as I know it did for me.
Something that I recently picked up on is the way I would describe my daughter Ella. I would call her sassy. A lot of people call their daughters sassy. It’s a pretty normal thing to hear. But that phrase can have a negative perception. Most of the time when people use it they mean their daughter has an attitude or has quick remarks, and there is the shock factor to what they say.
For me, I don’t want to speak that over Ella and I also don’t want to portray her that way. Ella is very social and acts beyond her years because she is always surrounded by college students. Sure she might act sassy every once in a while but I refuse to say that who she is.
Something else I grew up not saying or hearing was that I was beautiful. I assumed my family thought that I was but I just never heard it. Again it was part of our culture to not say those things. I realized because I never heard that, it was hard to receive it. In my mind, it made no sense to me that people would look at me and think I was pretty. I thought it was weird. I went through this season of feeling unworthy and hating the way I looked.
I had to learn to love myself and find beauty within myself before I could love my outside. I had to learn to say thank you when people would compliment me. I had to learn to look someone in the eyes. Before I would turn away because I was embarrassed by how “ugly” I looked. I wasn’t used to hearing I was beautiful, therefore I started to believe I wasn’t. But no one I knew that I trusted told me so I really didn’t know.
I want my kids to know they are beautiful inside and out! They will hear it from Micah and me every single day. They will know that someone who loves them and cares for them deeply truly believes they are beautiful.
I know picking up these habits and dropping some won’t make my kids perfect and doing these things won’t protect my kids from going through things, but at the end of the day my kids can look back and know we truly love them, we think they are beautiful and that we don’t speak negative things over them. If that’s the only thing my kids take away from our parenting I would consider that a win!