I became a parent in 1993 when my daughter was born. Since then I became a parent two more times -once through adoption. My oldest child is just about to hit her teen years, so I have a lot of experience parenting children from the time they are born to the time they are teenagers. What follows are the most important things I learned about parenting since becoming a parent in 1993.
1) Cherish Every Moment With Your Children
I know this sounds like a cliche, but it’s the most important thing I can tell new parents. The time with your children goes so fast that it’s hard to describe. One day your kids want you to walk them into their classroom, and the next day they want you to drop them off a block away from the school so that their friends don’t see them coming to school with their parents. I’m very lucky that all my kids still love to do things with me. Being with them is the happiest times of my life.
2) Have Fun With You Kids
This relates to the first subject of enjoying your time with your children. The reason my kids love to do things with me is because I make it a point to do fun things with them whenever possible. Some of their favorite things to do are go to fairs and amusement parks, hiking, swimming, fishing, bowling, and going to shows. You can never get this time back. No parent ever woke up when the kids were out of the house and thought to themselves, “Gee… I sure am glad I worked late at the office all those nights instead of taking my kids miniture golfing!”
3) Be You Child’s Parent and Their Friend
Some child experts, notably John Rosemond, claim that you can’t be a parent and a friend to you children. I entirely disagree. For the most part I am my children’s closest friend, but I still never forget that my first job is to be their parent. What this means is that we have fun, but there’s still somebody in charge -me! My children not only love me and enjoy doing things with me, they also respect me because I’ve shown over the years that my top priority is doing what I can to guide them towards a successful and happy life.