As a parent, you will become a living example of the saying wearing too many hats. Parents have a range of different roles; chauffeur, cook, prison warden, doctor, and none of them are every appreciated by your children.
Yes, I said doctor, and not nurse, because let’s be real, nurses do all the real work. Where my nurses at?!? HOLLA…(wink wink)…fist pound.
Sometimes, it’s hard to know which role to focus on at which time; especially when thy’re less defined than the service-oriented ones above.
Some elements of parenting will come naturally to some, and others will take much more work. I mean, not everyone can be perfect at everything like me. Maybe you’re the fun parent, or the creative one. or you’re the handy kind of parent that can teach your kid a skill.
Every parent has their own parenting styles, and trust me when I tell you – many will tell you about theirs, whether you want to hear about it or not. But, don’t listen to anyone who tries to tel you how you should parent; not even me. Because if you’re looking to me to help you parent; you and your kids are screwed.
Find your own style, and stick with it. Even if you feel like you’re screwing up (because you probably are); if your kid is alive and doing fine, stick with it! Repetition is literally the key to raising kids. You’re going to repeat yourself anyway, with them not listening, so embrace it. Because raising the best versions of your little heathens…err, children, to become the best that they can be is your primary responsibility as a parent. So, drill that in their heads now!
One of the ways that you can do this is to want more for your children and enriching their lives can help. But, how do you approach enrichment? And what can be best for them?
First, you need to pay attention to them. Listen, I know I’m the last person you’d expect to say that, because let’s be honest here, I barely like talking to my spawn, but look at it this way, listening and watching them will help you figure out what they might interested in, and then you can sign them up for something that gets them out of your hair for an hour or two. WIN!! Figure out where their strengths lie, what they are good at, and then make your own judgement on the kind of classes or activities or extracurricular activities that are going to enrich their lives.
My son had some major confidence issues a couple years ago, and even now he does. So, I signed him up for Jiu Jitsu classes at the gym I attend. He was nervous, but eventually he overcame those fears, and embraced the challenge. He even took part in his first tournament recently, and took home 3rd place. But, the most important thing was, on the way home he said, “I’m really proud of myself.” And that’s all any parent could ask for.
Look, I know; this takes more talking to your kids. But, if you’re going to dump them off somewhere for a few hours every week, and pay for it, you might as well ask if they’d actually enjoy it. So, make sure that you just ask. Find out what their passions are. What they’re interested in. What they dream of being some day…other than a drain on your soul. And listen, or at least try to. Then see if you can work together to find a class that can help them here.
Try New Things
Next up, it might be that they just need to be able to try new things. Maybe they do not know what it is that they want to do. Then exploring all kinds of different and interesting options could be perfect. Maybe theater for shy kids or fencing for slightly less athletic kids or even dressmaking for creative kids could work. Try to think outside the box here and see what might suit their personality.
Focus On Holistic Growth
From here, it might even be that you want to enrich their lives in a range of ways, and not just in terms of education or through sports. Maybe there’s a specialized activity they want to try. For this, maybe camp could be a perfect fit for them. For this, look into options around the country, like America’s Finest Summer Camps, that might offer them a range of activities for them to do. It may even be that you want to look into volunteering activities that they can also do to enrich them for the rest of the year.
Stick To The Basics
Seriously, keep it simple, stupid. Don’t overthink things. I know we parents feel like we need to schedule our kids for every activity under the sun, as soon as they come out of the womb, because…
OMG!! We have to get the ready for college! We’re late; it’s already the second trimester!
Relax, crazy! You’re kid is going to be fine. If they’re not showing a ton of interest in activities; it’s fine. They’ll figure it out. What’s the worst that can happen…they become a parent blogger who makes lame jokes and whines about their kids on the internet?