In our world of instant gratification, it’s tough to know if you’re making the grade as a parent. Parenting isn’t exactly a short term investment, so it’s easy to second guess yourself with little to no progress reports. I’m not talking about what Instagram and Facebook think about your kids from a staged snapshot. I’m talking real life approval. We don’t always know if we’re doing OK, but I think there are some ways we can know if we are.
Having kids use kind and respectful words naturally. They say their pleases and thank you’s. They know how to use a nice tone of voice.
What about seeing your kids being kind to others on their own, no prompting. They might hold doors for people. They offer to help with needed. They are respectful of other people’s things. One weekend we were getting frozen yogurt. The kids got Easter eggs. Some of the eggs had just candy and some were prize eggs to pick out a chocolate bunny. My son won a chocolate bunny, and my daughter didn’t. She was OK with it, but you could see it on my daughters face that she wanted that chocolate bunny as well. Well, the next table over had 2 boys and they both received chocolate bunnies. The older boy, probably 13ish, asked me if it was OK to give my daughter his chocolate bunny. He said didn’t really want it too badly and he could see the disappointment in her face. I thanked him profusely and his mother as well. He didn’t have to give up his chocolate bunny, but it was very sweet and kind gesture.
You see or hear about your kids doing the right thing. You’ve taught them how to treat people, but then you get to see it in action. Maybe you get told how polite your child is being.
Maybe your kids want to do things with you. To me it’s something when you kid wants one on one time with a parent. I try to make it a little special for the kid that wants to to errands with me for the day. No, it’s not fun to grocery shop and run around town for hours, but it’s nice when one of your kids WANTS to spend that time with you.
They can follow the rules. I’m not saying every kid has the same rules to follow, but they can follow their set of rules. They are respectful of those rules and be respectful of the adults setting those rules. I have one child in particular who likes to always push the limits at home of the rules. He also knows to not push the rules with other adults.
I know kids are different at all stages of life, but you know your kids. Each stage has it moments where you can look at something and call it a win. It’s OK to look at moments and say “YES, that is winning!” and yourself or your spouse a high-five! Sometimes we mess-up, and that’s OK too.