Real Teen Mom All Grown-up Part 3
So I decided NOT to let my age be a factor in my parenting.... Although now looking back it did. I was still young enough to realize where I had gone wrong. What things about my parents parenting techniques worked and which didn't. Why had some girls chosen some routes to success and why hadn't I?
Choices... we make them EVERYDAY... but what influences our choices? Why do we choose what we choose? I at 16 now with a 3 month old needed to figure that out.... I had two parents who loved me, yes we had hard-ships but there was always enough love to go around. So love couldn't be all that was required in parenting.
Thus became my Second rule of parenting; Choices.
I had many choices and usually when I'd make a decision I didn't feel good about it. ALL of my final choices seemed to be what others wanted. I was raised in the "do what your told." era. The era of 'When I say jump you jump, only question allowed is how high." I had been conditioned to know how to please others. Even if it meant I didn't feel good about it. I realized that I had gone from my parents making my choices to my peers and my boyfriend making my choices. I had also learnt what MANY others in this situation learn, to lie. I lied to make others feel better, lied to myself that the choices I was making were okay when I knew better than that.
So when they were old enough I tried this theory out. Go ahead 2 year old choose what you'd like to wear.....Karie did ok. some dresses worn over pants or she'd be mismatched with her colors. shorts and sweaters kinda stuff. But then there was Nicole, my second daughter who was in a Woody costume for over a month... So I re-evaluated my theory and instead of wide open choices I narrowed them down. I would choose 3 out-fits for my kids and lay them out on there bed.. Each night they would choose one of my very fashionable choices... Thus we both felt good about it.... Although now, I must say I miss that Disney's Woody costume... LOL.
As they got older I backed off and they chose they're own clothes. Sometimes I didn't get their fashion but I always said you look amazing!! No coat in winter? Alrighty then... But after a day of freezing at school, BAM next day coat on. They'd figured it out! They chose what they liked and learnt to say no thank-you when they didn't like it. Everyday choices, I let them make. I let them learn and they learnt that if they made a bad decision the world didn't end and they gained the knowlegde to choose better next time. All allowance on 1 thing or break it up and save for a larger item and get a small thing now. This was easier with three kids. All making different choices and all seeing the outcomes of eachothers choices. This of course influenced future choices. It worked!!!
I knew that I only had my kids under my influence for a little while and it was my job to ensure that they knew how to make choices while I guided them before they hit puberty. Before the need to break away from me and stand on their own set in.Before the influence of peers. From my experience as being a kid I gathered that between the age of 2-12 they needed to have all their morals and values in place. They needed to trust themselves.
Result; Now at the ages of 14, 15 and 19 my kids are strong minded. They can and will say no. They always know that mom has the final say, but I listen to them, their reasons, and I have to say sometimes the teacher becomes the student. My kids are givers but I am proud to say they don't get walked over or persuaded to do anything they don't want to do... They know how to trust themselves to make good choices. Which in turns lets me trust in them.