Parenting isn't a normal topic for me, because I am far from an expert....like really FAR from it, but I'm inspired to write because if I'm struggling, maybe, possibly, other parents are too.
I'm not big on watching or reading the news, but I have seen some things on our local news channels that felt like a wake up call. Children committing heinous crimes with no sign of remorse and no respect for a human life. Because kids learn from whatever example is set for them, I can't sit back and pretend that there isn't a problem. This is OUR problem, and as parents, WE need to do better for our children.
My little one is 4 now, and I'm realizing that I too, am not setting the best example. I've been lazy, impatient, and unstructured in my parenting lately. What do I mean by that? Here are my red flags...
-Screen time: My 4 year old LOVES Roblox. It's a game, which is fine, but lately I'm having to pry her hands off of the iPad.
-Not using her imagination: She has all these toys, and rarely plays with them. Instead, she wants to watch a TV show, or play Roblox, or watch YouTube.
-Very processed diet: She won't eat hardly anything we eat like meat and most vegetables. Instead she has been eating junk like cereal, ramen, or plain pasta.
-Emotions: She been acting out, throwing tantrums, etc. then I feel guilty, frustrated, and like I am doing everything wrong.
I'm not saying these habits would lead to her committing heinous crimes in the future (but who knows, I'm no child psychologist), this is just our story. And for the record, there are a few things I do feel like I'm doing right, yay!
BUT I have let things get too lax and she needs more structure; with everything...screen time, meals, bed time. I have spent too much time being busy with unimportant things. She needs a more present mommy.
I know I'm the one who needs to change, and that's why I'm admitting this out loud.
I will be more present with my girl. I will not allow electronics to be a babysitter. I will do a better job introducing her to healthy foods. I will give her more structure in daily routine. I will lead by example.
I know every day will not be perfect. There will be obstacles, challenges, and tantrums. After all, raising children is a marathon, not a sprint, but shortcuts will not be "the way" anymore, they will be the exception.
"If you want to change the world, go home and love your family" -Mother Teresa