If you are a young mummy trying to get the hang of parenting, it is easy to work the part that does work. As a mother of four children, I was able to tryout too many options in the beginning of our early years of parenting. It was one of the things that helped me initially when I was figuring out the “world of parenting.” Every decision we have taken has been about the kids (All about the Kids).
I honestly believe that when parents are not around, there is always something missing. Raising kids is very difficult especially if you decide to stay at home with them. Staying home means you will not be able to make as much money as you wished, but when everything settles and seeing the positive outcomes on your children, you be so glad you did.
Did you know that you have 100% chance to pick up on their bad behavior before it escalates? You will also learn so much from them just by staying close every day. I do not claim to be a child expert, but there is certain knowledge that goes with repetition of things especially with the kids every day. Repetition is a very good key to be successful at something. If you try something over and over, you will be able to choose which one works well than when you did not try at all. I cannot say I am perfect, but I have done a pretty good, decent job in raising four children.
1. The first thing I learned to do with our children was to ask them from day one: “How was your day?”
That simple question can open up a lot more conversation whether it is what happened to them or their friends. It also helped me to know when they are having problems. One of my daughters opened up in 1st grade to tell me that another classmate was bullying her. As a mother, who would have thought that a girl at 6 years would know how to bully another student? It was an eye opener, and I went to see the principal after her classroom teacher had done everything to help.
The principal put a stop to it right there. She was able to call a meeting with the girls parent which was a big relief to both the teacher and my daughter. But if I did not engage in that communication, my daughter would have been in that situation for a long time. Do you know that bullying starts at elementary school? Most educators will tell you that. Because 1 in 5 elementary school and 1 in 10 middle school students in the United States report being bullied, understanding student perspectives is crucial to prevention (Brown, Birch, & Kancherla). This study is recommended for 9-to 13-Year-Olds Attending Health Education Centers in the United States.
In being around school, I realize that kids like to pick on somebody if nobody was there to defend them. But even if you are not there to know that bullying is part of what goes on in their school, the only way you can figure it out is by asking a simple question. I cannot count how many times I have to go and be the one to report to some mothers what they were not asking their kids, and the kids were not telling either. Some of them become very angry inside knowing that nobody cares. Therefore it is very good if you can learn from your child by asking, “How was your day?” You do not have to be at school to know, but you can ask to know.
2. It is also very important to make yourself available at their school if you are not working.
As a regular school volunteer for the past 7 years, 4 years in Georgia and 3 1/2 in Arizona, I am all about the children—make no mistake about that. I have done everything from working in the kitchen, to the classroom, to the “copycat” machine, to get them everything they need, I find out that helping all their teachers get any kind of results is what keeps me going.
Children love to see their parents at their school. What happens is that when you show that you care for your child, the other people can take note. In this article, “How To Help Your Kids Love School,” the article suggested that the best way to help your kids love school is by teaming up with the teacher.
If you want a better result, according to Gootman, “Teachers feel positive when they see that a parent cares and is interested and concerned but not breathing down their necks or telling them how to teach.” They also find it helpful if parents alert them to any information they have about how children are feeling at school. For instance, some kids may be stoic if someone hits or teases them, but cry about it when they get home. It helps to keep the teacher in the loop.
Do you know that children tell their teachers everything? Oftentimes they like to tell their teacher their favorite meals. So parents, if there is any problem you cannot figure out with your child, you can easily ask their teachers. It is almost that they know more about our children than we do. Reality is that parents appreciate and trust the teachers that have decent education and professional competence. They believe that teachers play a crucial role in the educational process and their personal, professional, etc. abilities have a major impact on their children (Silver N).
3. Also handing your child a piece of diary to write down her emotions can help especially if she or he starts getting negative in class.
In 4th grade, I found out that one of my daughters was not behaving up to my expectation. Not that she was bad, but after some uncalled negatives, I gave her a diary that she wrote on every day. In that diary, she will explain how her day went—all the things she did all day and her behavior, whether it affected her or other people. Then at the end of the school, she will give it to the teacher who will then confirm it. It was amazing what I was able to pick up and see what was going on through her diary. Over the years, I have tried some other ways to get words out from her mouth without the diary with little success. So using the diary was very helpful and saved me a trip to their school. It was one of my pride moments as a mother.
4. Finally, if you have time to be with them, one thing I have done so well is dropping and picking them up.
That works too. Dropping kids off may sound like an easy job, but it is not. It takes almost all your day, especially if you are doing a half day program. But it takes a lot of stress away from your kids. Nobody gets to bully them in your car. I found out that since I have to stay home and raise them, why not drop and pick them up, and most especially, volunteer.
One thing most mothers like me have done is carpool when they have other things to do. By doing so, it creates good feelings for them and assurance that money could not buy.
From my 12 years experimenting with children, it is easy to say what works and what doesn’t work. Their happiness can even come where we least expected them. Parenting is hard. We do not know what works and doesn’t work. Things can go either way . I will also like to hear what works for you.