Parenting is hard! And every day I wonder what mistakes I am making along the way. Parenting is filled with a constant shadow of doubt and there is a lot of pressure to raise the perfect child. And lets chat for a minute about that… Who decides what the perfect child looks, acts and sounds like??? Who gets to determine what qualities the perfectly parented child has?? And who wants that job??? With all the doubt and second guessing involved with parenting I strive to allow myself the opportunity to fail and to grow. Am I parenting the perfect child??? Sure I am. Declan is perfect in his own right and he is the prefect child for me. Let’s set some realistic standards here… let’s focus on growth and development… let’s shine a light on the positive. Each child is perfect- in some way (big or small) and each child possess innate qualities that are special to them. Kids are kids. Let them be little.
One of the most important things for me, as a mother, is to raise a kind and thoughtful human. If Declan does nothing else in life but be kind and respectful to others I will consider my parenting battle a successful one. Each and every day I tell Declan how kind he is, I remind him he is sweet and I praise his ability to forgive.
Is it easy?? NO. He is a toddler after all. He can be defiant. He can be cheeky. He can be mischievous.
I believe, strongly, in the importance of reminding him he is kind in the WORST of times- when is acting defiant, cheeky and mischievous. In the middle of a melt-down at Target because the P.J. Masks book did not come home with us, in the middle of the restaurant when he is losing his mind because he is hungry, in the midst of an argument with a friend over whose turn it is to ride the pink tractor. Reminding Declan he is kind, sweet and forgiving stands at the forefront of my mothering.
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In the spirit of kindness and thoughtfulness both Declan and I are wearing clothes that serve more than the purpose of fashion. To start Declan’s J.Crew elephant shirt helps support the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust which aids in orphaned elephants and rhino rescue. Not only was I drawn to the adorable mama and baby elephant on the front I was happy to know that some of the money would be spend to show kindness to other on this earth. My graphic tee is from Mama Love Collective which is company that sends little gifts to mothers- to brighten their day and remind them they are special. This company wants to ensure that all mama’s feel loved and so they deliver kindness in a box straight to your door!
*Below I have linked our outfits minus my shirt which you can snag <here>
In the long run and over time I believe that kindness will prevail. In a world filled with hate, terror and uncertainty I am committed to raising my son to see and be the opposite of those things. There is nothing in this world Declan cannot do and with a healthy dose of kindness and respect he will do even more. If he can see the kindness and thoughtfulness in himself then I am confident he will see it in others. Imagine the possibilities if everyone began each conversation, each interaction and each day with an open and kind heart.
Now, do I still put Declan in timeout- ABSOLUTELY. Are there still consequences for inappropriate behavior- YES. Is it all rainbows and unicorns in our house- NOPE. I am not blind to the fact that as a mischievous strong willed toddler Declan needs and thrives in an environment with structure. Nor am I naive to believe that he will never be mean to a fellow friend. Again, he is a child. At the root of my parenting is the belief that beyond those structured routines, those playground mishaps and those Target meltdowns is a kind and sweet soul.
So, while parenting is hard and I am in a constant state of questioning I am hopeful that in the long run he will see kindness in himself and in turn others.
Raise Them Kind.
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