Parenting: If I Could Do It All Over Again

My boys are now nineteen and twelve, and they are pretty wonderful.  Although I’ll never be voted Mom of the Year I don’t think I’ve done too badly at this whole parenting thing.  I read to the boys constantly when they were little, and they both read regularly now simply because they enjoy it – I’m proud of that.  But there are several things I would do differently starting all over today as a new parent:

1.) Baby Sign Language ~ Where was this idea when I was wracking my sleep-deprived brain trying to figure out what my kids wanted?  Best thing since the Boppy pillow, let me tell you!

2.) Lovey ~ I did this right with John, but if I’d done it with Aaron seven years earlier it would have saved me about three years worth of sleepless nights.  Give them a “lovey”, preferably a soft blanket, and put it in their little hands every time you lay them down to sleep.  Start this as soon as you bring their butts home from the hospital.  John’s was a blue blanket named “Woobie” and the moment it was in his grasp all tension would leave his little body and his eyes would start to drift closed – beautiful.

I really did try this!

3.) Potty Training and Pacifiers ~ It used to drive me crazy when I’d be stressed about trying to get Aaron potty-trained or wean John away from his Binky and an experienced mom would say “Don’t worry, he’ll get rid of the diapers/pacifier before he goes of to school!”  It’s the truth, though.  They will do these things on their own time schedule and no one else’s.  Don’t waste your mental energy.

4.) Bullying ~ This lesson was learned only a couple of years ago – recently enough that it still makes my heart ache.  Bullies are everywhere and they are not going away.  Ignoring them doesn’t work. If the teachers, coaches, or other responsible adults aren’t willing or able to to remedy the situation get your child out of that environment.  Pull them off the team, switch schools, whatever it takes.  Your child’s well-being is more important than “working within the system”.

5.) Sodas ~ Once they taste sodas there’s no going back.  You can limit their sodas, but they will always want more.  I would love to go back and simply never give my children that first sip of Coke.

What do you wish you’d done differently?

I’m linking this post up to Wordful Wednesday on Parenting by Dummies and Seven Clown Circus.

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3 thoughts on “Parenting: If I Could Do It All Over Again”

  1. We do baby sign language with Roxy and it is SO helpful. Really glad that our caregiver turned us on to it.

    I, too, wish I had never let her have that first sip of Coke. Now she’s getting selective about what she’ll drink when she sees whats available and unfortunately, Coke is her #1 choice. She’s only 22 months!

  2. Wow, this is a great post. Even though I’m smack-dab in the middle of raising mine, there are still a ton of things I’d do differently if I got the chance. The biggest one is TV, I think. They love it. They would sit in front of it 23 hours a day, tongues lolling out the sides of their little mouths, if only I’d allow it. We spend HOURS doing crafts, coloring, reading, playing outside, etc. and the whole time, they keep glancing at the darkened tv like it’s a big juicy burger and they haven’t eaten for days. It’s like kid crack.

  3. I can think of a handful …..

    – I wouldn’t have worked so much when they were little. When Abby (now sixteen) was young, I wouldn’t have dreamed of staying home. Now that I have three more small fry, I’d love nothing more than to stay home full time.

    -I would have nursed Abby longer ….. I didn’t have the support system in place like I do now.

    – I wouldn’t have been in such a rush to send them off to preschool.

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