Remember, Your Kids are Learning How to Love by Watching You

BY: - 27 Jan '17 | Parenting

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I have two kids and one on the way. If there is anything they have taught me, it’s how to be more mindful of how I behave and interact with others. Kids are always watching you. Even when you think they aren’t, they are. I believe it’s their way of trying to make us better people.

Now don’t get me wrong; I don’t think you should change who you are because your kids are lurking, watching your every move. But I do think it would be wise for all parents to really think about what our kids are learning based on how we behave.

Are we teaching them how to be angry?

Has bitterness taken over our world?

What do they learn from us about forgiveness?

Are we teaching them what empathy is and why it’s so important?

How do we communicate? Are silent treatments and grudges the norm for us?

Sure, we spend a lot of time trying to raise kind people who understand the value of an education. And that’s a good thing. Our world needs more kindness and building a strong knowledge base will serve them well in life. But that can’t be it, though. We can’t think that our kids will just learn what we want them to learn, and ignore what they see from us. It just doesn’t work that way.

When you disrespect your spouse in front of your children, they see it.

When you accept disrespectful behavior time and time again, they see it.

When you raise your voice or use mean words to get a point across, they hear it.

When you always put your needs first, they see it.

When you hold a grudge and refuse to forgive others and yourself, they see it.

When you settle for less than you deserve, they see it.

I know life would be so much easier if they didn’t see the crappy stuff. It would be so nice if they only observed our good qualities and magically erased the ones we aren’t that proud of. But you don’t need me to tell you that’s just a fantasy. They see and hear all of it and it informs who they become as adults.

Is it possible that your kids will see the bad stuff and still end up in perfectly healthy, happy relationships as adults? Of course it’s possible. Things actually turned out that way for me. But I can also tell you that it’s not likely. I can list a number of people in my life (many in my own family) who struggle big time in relationships and it has a lot to do with what they witnessed as children.

And if your kids have witnessed you having arguments with your mate or behaving in ways you aren’t proud of, it doesn’t mean you are a bad parent. Not by a long shot. But it does mean that you need to be more mindful going forward. It does mean that you need to think a little bit harder about how your relationship behaviors and decisions are influencing your children. You need to realize that although children shouldn’t know about or interfere with your adult matters, they are still watching how you behave. They are still looking to you to teach them how to love.

So the next time you feel compelled to do something that you realize may have a harmful impact on your kids, just take a deep breath and make another choice. Think about what you would want your child to do in the same situation. How would you want him to act? What would you want her to say? What would you want his next step to be?

It’s odd, but we often want more for our children than we accept for ourselves. We want them to be happier and healthier. We want them to find the deepest kind of love, even if that type of love has escaped us. But I urge parents everywhere to change that frame of mind. You can change. We can all change. And the truth is, it’s what your kids want for you. That same happiness you want for them—well, they want it for you. The least we can do for our kids and ourselves is try to become better people. After all, they are watching.

BMWK family, what are you doing to set a better example for your kids when it comes to intimate relationships?

About the author

Martine Foreman wrote 494 articles on this blog.

Martine Foreman is a speaker, writer, lifestyle consultant, and ACE-certified Health Coach who specializes in helping moms who want more out of life but feel overwhelmed and confused. Through her content and services, Martine is committed to helping women embrace their personal truth, gain clarity, and take action to create healthier, happier lives. For more on Martine's candid views on life and love, visit her at candidbelle.com. To work with her, visit her at martineforeman.com. Martine resides in Maryland with her husband, two kids and sassy cat Pepper.

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The Best Kept Secret About Chuck E. Cheese’s Birthday Parties

BY: - 6 Feb '17 | Parenting

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Me and Chuck E Cheese_feature

My youngest daughter just had her 9th Birthday party at Chuck E Cheese’s. And while I know she had a ball, I secretly think I enjoyed it more.  And here’s why:

Easy Planning

I was literally able to go on-line one afternoon (while at work) and plan the entire party: the theme, the food, the gift bags, the entertainment, the cake and more.  I just had to select one of Chuck E. Cheese’s party packages, the date and time, and pay the deposit. I was even able to email invitations from their website.  From then on, I only had to purchase a gift and show up with my family.

I could literally stop right here, because this is reason enough for a busy mom to love a Chuck E. Cheese’s party…bit there’s more.

Fun Games

chuck-e-cheese-birthday-party-fun

Playing the games was the highlight of the party for my kids. They were given more than enough tokens (included in the party package) and they played until their hearts were content. I always pick a week night to visit Chuck E. Cheese’s because the crowds are normally smaller.  So we had our run of the place as we played our favorite games.  And nobody (and I mean nobody) could beat mommy on her favorite game, ski-ball.  And I challenged everyone…from the youngest kids to all of their parents. But, mommy reigned supreme with a high score of 32,000 points and a hand full of tickets to share with the birthday girl.

Great Food

Thin and Crispy Pizza at Chuck E Cheese

If you haven’t heard, Chuck E. Cheese’s  brought on celebrity Chef Gregory Casale to completely revamp their menu and provide more “grown-up options” that will appeal to adults (especially moms.) So yes, the kids enjoyed their pepperoni and cheese pizza.  But I also enjoyed their new Cali Alfredo pizza (creamy Alfredo sauce and whole milk mozzarella with fresh spinach, Italian sausage, grilled chicken breast and fresh mushrooms) and the boneless oven-baked wings.  Yummmm!

We want to give the parents an extra reason to say ‘yes’ [to coming to CEC] and what better way than through the food. We’ve elevated the food so that it appeals to moms and parents. ~ Chef Gregory

The Best Kept Secret

So the best kept secret is that while Chuck E. Cheese’s main priority has always been to make kids happy, they have made a lot of  new changes to improve the experience for the parents…from stepping-up their food game with the new menu items to offering free wi-fi. So while the kids played during the party, I was able to just sit back, relax, eat good food, and talk to my cousins.  Check out more of their New Bigger Better Birthday Offerings:

  • Chuck E. Cheese’s has exciting new birthday party themes you can choose from including: “Party Like a Rock Star,” “Dressed in Pink Party,” “Sports, Sports, Sports” and “Chuck E. Super Fan.”
  • Chuck E. Cheese’s also has brand new cakes with sweet frosting, rich cake and a splash of excitement with colored sprinkles!
  • Chuck E. Cheese’s now has bigger and better goody bags
  • Birthday packages include three different price/package levels including:
    • Star
    • Super Star
    • Mega Super Star
  • Chuck E. Cheese’s even has a VIP Birthday Party Experience where you will get the whole party area to yourself before the restaurant opens, for 90 minutes! VIP birthdays offer a safe, contained play space for your birthday party. No overwhelming crowds!  Additionally, the Happy Birthday show plays exclusively for your VIP birthday party

BMWK – When was the last time you’ve been to Chuck E. Cheese’s? Are you surprised to learn about all of the great changes they’ve made?

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Chuck E. Cheese’s. I’m a #ChuckEChampions Brand Ambassador for 2016-2017 and I’ve partnered with them to share with you all of the exciting changes the they are making. All opinions are my own. 

About the author

Ronnie Tyler wrote 522 articles on this blog.

Ronnie Tyler is the co-creator of BlackandMarriedWithKids.com and co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing. The proud mom of 4 has been selected by Parenting Magazine as a Must-Read Mom and is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Bloggers.

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