It’s funny how much influence your parents parenting-style affects how you raise your own kids. Things that my parents did that I think shaped me in a positive way are the things I want to instill in my own kids. And things that I perceived negatively, I’ve tried to steer away from.
Let me share a few examples:
- My dad blasted the music in the car. I know he was a young parent, which probably influenced it a little bit, but we’d jam out to some rock n’ roll with the volume turned way up. Elton John, Mariah Carey, Journey, etc. I remember friends saying “Your dad is crazy! I can’t believe he’s blasting the radio!”
In our house, my kids always want to ride with mom, because they know I’ll put it on blast. We jam out and dance in our seats as we run our errands.
- My mom was always on time. To drop us off, to pick us up. For every activity or practice she was there 5 minutes early waiting for us. And I loved that she was always there to meet me on time. It felt like she valued my time because she was always on time.
I don’t always do a good job of being on time. But I do relatively well. I want my kids to know that their activities and time are a priority for me.
- My dad never cared what others thought. Dance in the aisle at the grocery store. Check. Dress in camo and toilet paper a friends house. Check. Wear a crazy costume and be the neighborhood swim team mascot “Hurricane Man”. Check. (Yes, that really happened.) I know there were times I HATED it then, but now that I’m older, I know this really shaped some of my self-confidence.
I love doing crazy things with my kids and teaching them that it’s ok to not care what other people think. I want them to be confident enough to dance in the aisles now. I hope if we instill it now, it will carry through to those teenage years where it can be painful to “be different”. I want my kids to be confident leaders.
- My mom did everything well with her own creative flair. Whether it was birthday parties, a special dinner or holiday time, my mom always did a great job thinking of new ideas and inspiring me to think outside the box and come up with my own creative way of doing things.
I want my kids to see me take the same time and care with their things. To throw them an extra special birthday party. To spend time making fun cakes or holiday décor. To inspire them in their own creativity.
Like all moms, I am good in some areas and a work-in-progress in others. And I’m so thankful I have parents who really shaped some of my own parenting practices because I loved so many things about my childhood and I hope my kids look back with the fondest memories of their own.
And when they are older with their own kids, I can’t wait to hear about some of the things they carry own with their own children.