Saturday, July 13, 2013

Listening to and Reflecting on the Lessons we Teach our Children

One of the "habits for living" that my kids have embraced, accepted and come to enjoy during summers and weekends is spending the first 30 minutes of most normal days with reading.  Everyone with their own book. There is definitely time later in the day where I read to them and they read more by themselves, but for this first 30 min we are all in our own books (I'm often writing).  At first it was something I requested of them but now I don't even ask.  My oldest daughter just gets the timer and makes sure her younger brother and sister are on board with their books and quiet time.

For awhile, my son (now 4) didn't want to just sit and look at books because in his words: "I can't read".  We did away with this belief system quite quickly. I think one of the most important things this life routine has done for my kids is the belief that we all learn, read, create, etc. in our own our own pace. Reading for him means looking at pictures and letters and remembering/retelling stories that he has had read to him time and time again. And books that are about his interests at the time (this currently involves superheroes, superheroes, superheroes).  It's exciting to see him pick up books and "Read" in his own way...with joy.  And pride. No different from his older sisters.

Just as my kids have come to accept that we are all readers in our own way, in our own time, and at our own pace, they have also come to believe this about most things in life.  This "I can do it" belief system allows them to start small with things and not get discouraged at seeing the big picture or only comparing themselves and what they can do to what others can do.  This carries over to so many things in life... fitness, jobs, education, writing a book, starting a business.

Just as we can all learn how to live by watching and truly listening to our kids, we can learn and grow by truly listening to and believing (for ourselves) the messages and lessons that we are helping them learn.

Just a few:
  • Start Small.
  • Believe in You.
  • Believe you CAN!
  • We all Learn in Our Own Ways.
  • Don't compare our beginning steps with where someone else is after doing something for awhile.
  • Everyone starts somewhere...own it! 
There are so many wonderful messages we send to our children every single day. We teach them through LIVING.  We teach them through all of the many things we do with them, encourage them to do on their own, the examples we set with our own lifestyle and how we talk to them about life.  

It's Worth
tell ourselves those most important messages we tell our children.
Sometimes we Forget.

What are some lessons and messages that you teach your children that are worth reviewing for yourself from time to time?   I strongly believe that we so often teach what we need to know.  Even if we already know it and just need to reflect on it.  



  1. So true. Self-belief was not something I was taught but something I had to learn and it's still something I grapple with from time to time. I've tried to instil self-belief in my kids and when I see it I'm immensely proud that they trust themselves enough to give new things a go and to put themselves out there.

  2. I can't take credit for this because I got it from a coaching website I read regularly, but I teach my high school kids this...

    They are never allowed to put themselves down. If someone hears a teammate using negative self-talk, we have a meeting to "flush" the negativity away. (You basically stand in a circle and make a flushing noise.) At first, the teens thought it was really cheesy and stupid, but now I can tell they like it. In fact, they have already taught the new freshmen to do it! It's great for team bonding, too. It's a lesson I need to do better with myself. I mean, if we can't respect ourselves, how are others going to????

  3. I like that you make your kids read every day. Reading is great, and I love books. They really expand your mind.


  4. I think the reading habit makes such smart, inquisitive kiddos. Kids who read think more deeply and try to solve their own problems. You're a good mom!

  5. Love that Henry Ford quote. It's one of my running motivational quotes.
    I don't have children but I really love the things you believe are so important in bringing up your family. Wish all parents were so attentive to doing and saying and promoting the right things and self confidence in their kids.

  6. Last of five - I just believed in everything negative I ever heard from my older siblings. My late husband was so loving - he helped me see the positive. Now, whenever I feel like putting myself down, or being negative, I think of two positive things! It trains the brain in all areas of life. I hope/think my kids have learned this skill.

  7. I love the idea of a designated "must read" time. I think i am going to add it into our routine. My daughter is 5 and not quite reading on her own, so I am always reading to her. It's nice to have *each* of us able to read. I think I will make our rule, "reading or writing" as she already likes to write in her journal. Thanks for that tip!
    As far as what I pass back to others is huge, she volunteers with me already. And we always talk about our strong bodies and using food to keep us healthy and strong. I truly emphasize a positive body image, and always tell her how much I love my body, and why. ie "I love my legs because they are strong and help me run"...I grew up with a mother who was on a constant diet, and "being fat" was feared. The "F" word is not spoken in our house.
    Every day I tell her she's smart and beautiful, but what makes me most proud is her kind heart. <3 I think girls are being told all too often that they are "pretty" as the "go to" compliment. Pretty has got nothing to do with it. ;)


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