4. Listening to my kids
Just the other day, I remember trying to finish something up on the computer during the normal time that I should’ve been working with the kids on their lessons (yes it’s summertime, but the learning shall continue). I guess my daughter had asked me the same question a couple of times in which I thought I answered. Clearly I did not because my son told me, “Mom, you’re not listening right now.” I immediately turned to him and told him he was right, and apologized to my daughter, then closed my laptop and finished what we were doing. Just like we expect our kids to listen when we’re talking to them, we want them to expect the same from us. I don’t ever want them to feel like they can’t talk to us about something because we never listen.
5. Instilling confidence
This one probably brings me the greatest joy because growing up, I had no confidence. I was always the tallest, darkest (sometimes the only black in my classes), and skinnest one in my class. No one could ever pronounce my last name (Kiganda…go ahead, I dare you to try it). My hair was straight nappy and I didn’t always have the coolest shoes and clothes. So as you can guess, there was a lot of teasing going on. BUT I can only imagine that had I been told how beautiful and smart I was, none of that other stuff would’ve mattered because I would’ve had confidence when I walked in a room instead of a lack thereof.
Granted, I tell my kids they’re beautiful all the time because they are. But when they turn around and tell me how pretty I am, and then share the same with each other, it just makes my heart melt. These kids are so fearless and I love it!
6. It’s ok to make mistakes
I think part of instilling confidence in our kids is not only allowing them to make mistakes, but to explain to them why they were mistakes to begin with. A lot of times, we as parents, tend to put kids in time out, or ground them for what are obvious reasons (to us). But I want to take the time out to explain what happens when they do things they’re not supposed to do. I don’t want my kids to have to feel like they have to cover up lie after lie because they fear what would happen if they messed up (or if we found out they messed up). I want them to feel comfortable enough to screw things up, and then come and ask us for help on how to fix it if they can’t figure it out on their own. As they get older, I want them to be able to own up to their own mistakes and faults, and use them as lessons to do better and be better.
7. Respect, protect and love one another
Ok so I know siblings fight and that’s just a natural part of growing up. But man, being the sixth child out of seven is tough…even more so when in between the two boys. Although we are all very close now, we surely had our fair share of fights going on, more often times than not. We made fun of each other in front of each other’s friends, and were just plain mean to each other now that I think about it. Writing this now, I realize I probably need to apologize for the role I played in this (obviously, I take no blame whatsoever as I was the most innocent of them all).
Well, I want my kids to experience the closeness and loving bond with each other that I didn’t have growing up. Yes they fight, but when they are on good terms, no one could ever come between them. We’ve always explained to our son that he has to protect his little sisters, especially when mommy and daddy are not around. Without fail, every Sunday that my sister watches the three of them during church (while I sing with my choir), she tells me that people constantly stop her to tell her how well behaved they are. But the thing that touches me the most is that they say how impressed they are because they see how much they love each other and how big brother is so protective over them. They witness the love that my husband and I have for each other, through the love that our kids show each other when we’re not around. I couldn’t feel more blessed.
BMWK: What are some things that you’ve had to discover along the way that you are making sure to teach your kids today?