Bold Insights from Raising 4 Children

by Tess on February 12, 2009

Creative Commons License photo credit: Sugar Pond

I was a young mother. I was 22 years old when our twins were born ( my third pregnancy). Their sisters were 4 and 2 years old. We were crazy busy, we didn’t have parenting skills and we were kids ourselves. But did we ever learn!

My daughters are all in their 30’s now and I thought I would share these insights with you. The following are true for both daughters and sons.

Kids just want to have fun (with you).  Your children want you, your full attention, your apology, your energy, your time, your acceptance and your love. These allow them energy for fun.

Kids want to see you practice what you preach. When you say one thing and do another they get confused.  If you want them to eat healthy, read well, and love each other you need to do the same. They are watching and listening especially when you think they are not.

Kids want you at their school and sporting events. It’s important you are present, it makes them feel important. They will know they can count on your support.

Kids want to see their parents get along. Even if you don’t live together! When we fight and argue our children will fight and agrue. When we quiet down our children quiet down. When parents are kind, children are kind. When parents respect each other, children learn respect.

Kids want their parents to recognize manipulation. When one parent says no they go to the other for a yes. Know they are testing your boundaries.  Standing united makes your children will feel safe.

Kids want their parents to agree about money. When parents have control of their spending kids will know begging will not work. When they beg for items you can’t afford love them enough to let them hate you. They’ll get over it.

Kids want to be kids. Never put adult problems on kids shoulders. Go to other adults when you need to vent, worry out loud or get advice. Kids are suppose to be children.  You don’t want them to go to school or bed taking your problems with them. They will grow up soon enough.

Kids want responsibility. Kids want to chores and to learn how to handle their own money. This builds confidence. Holding them accountable builds character.

Kids want to do things by themselves. Allow your children to fail and pick themselves up. When you have confidence in your children they will gain confidence in themselves.

Kids want praise. Experts have proven kids need 5 praises for each criticism. Kids learn with praise and grow with praise. I can’t say enough about praise.

Kids want their parents to take care of themselves. They want you to take care of your mental, emotional and physical health. When children are put first at parents expense they learn entitlement. They grow up believing the world revolves around them.

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    { 13 comments… read them below or add one }

    Daphne February 12, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Hi Tess,

    I love the voice of experience. When I was young and upset with my parents I swore to write a book on what parents should and should not do. That book was never written, and I’ve become friends with my parents. Your post just reminded me how important it is for parents to hear from their children what they really want. Great post!

    Daphne’s last blog post..Site Update: Getting Better Everyday


    Roger February 12, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Good advice. Parents need to give children boundaries not just be their buddy.

    The 70’s and 80’s were a time that the prevailing thought had all to do with building a child’s self esteem at all costs. Unfortunately the cost was often a child with great self esteem but no clue how the real world works.

    It is the responsibility of parents to build character which will build real self esteem not the canned stuff stemming from undeserved praise.

    As a parent of three, I understand the confusion parents face with all the conflicting opinions regarding child rearing. Consistency is a great place to start.


    Roger’s last blog post..What Is It You Want Most From Life?


    Alik Levin | February 13, 2009 at 5:20 am

    I am aspiring dad myself ;)
    I have a story for each and every “Kids…” you have here.
    This post resonates w/so much! – Stumbled,


    Danifer (Jennifer) February 13, 2009 at 8:13 am

    These are great, thank you for the reminder. I often get caught up in my own things to actually take the time to try to do something with my growing kids. I know this time will be gone before I know it and I should take more advantage of them wanting to spend time with me.

    Danifer (Jennifer)’s last blog post..Movie Review: He’s Just Not That Into You


    Tess February 13, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Thanks Daphne! I am friends with my parents as well. We don’t always agree but we sure do love each other!

    Thanks for stopping by. I think it’s always confusing for parents no matter the generation. It’s just who parents are, confused:)

    Oh how we can relate!

    I just got your nickname! I was on your blog and read about Dan!
    I hear you…mine want to talk to me on the phone a lot and sometimes I just don’t want to….there’s a balance to all!


    Jennifer February 13, 2009 at 10:40 am

    What a GREAT list Tess! So many of these are the opposite of what parents think (or do), They are ironic. Parents think kids don’t want chores, but they do – they do want to be taught responsibility.

    This was put together so well and things I’ll keep in mind for that day of parenthood it it happens.

    Jennifer’s last blog post..Beyond Valentine’s Day


    Mark February 13, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    This is wonderful and should be printed on every disposable diaper in the world!

    Mark’s last blog post..Illusions


    Tess February 13, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Mark you are the best! I love your comment. Thanks for stopping by.


    Tess February 13, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    It was all learned through experience…the good and the bad. I learned from it all.


    Karen Chaffee February 13, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    As one veteran mother to another, well said! You’ve hit on so many high spots, and children DO want and need these things.



    Tess February 14, 2009 at 2:56 am

    You must have wonderful grown up kids. Was life easier then or does every veteran see it that way?


    Jannie Funster February 14, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    I can’t think of one of those I do not agree with.

    LOVE Mark’s comment too.

    Happy Valaentine’s Day!!

    Jannie Funster’s last blog post..Armani Condom Heart — Inappropriate?


    Tess February 15, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Thanks for stopping by. Yes Mark is great. I’m surprised there aren’t messages on diapers!


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