Life as a parent can be a non-stop juggling act of school activities, grocery trips, extracurricular sports, cleaning the house, weekend events and everything else in between.
But no matter how busy life gets, there’s a few must-have conversations between parent and child.
Your schedule is never too busy to share the following 10 lessons with your kids. So pour your heart and soul into these important topics.
1. You’re the best.
Let your child know that you love and approve of her just the way she is. She is smart enough, beautiful enough, and has exceeded your expectations as a daughter for simply being who she is.
2. Let’s talk about personal hygiene & hormones.
Don’t let your own discomfort of some topics negatively affect your children. You kids need coaching when it comes to growing up — including body odor, periods, body hair, sex and birth control.
3. I’m sorry.
When you flub up, apologize! You’re never going to be a perfect parent, and admitting that you’ve made a few mistakes along the way will only strengthen the bond between you and your growing children.
4. You can do this.
No matter what your child is up against, always let him know that you’re in his corner. Encourage him to try his best as each new challenge comes along, and let him know that he’s got your support every step of the way.
5. I love you no matter what, and there’s nothing you can’t tell me.
It’s normal for your kids to keep some secrets from you. But when the going gets tough, your child should feel safe coming to you and know that there is nothing she can’t reveal. She needs to know there is nothing you can’t handle and you will love her no matter what.
6. Speak up and ask questions.
It’s OK to disagree — even with mom, dad and other adults. Encourage your kids to disagree (respectfully) with the opinions of others, and seek out their own truth.
7. Not everyone is going to like you.
Even though you’re smitten with your kids, not everyone is going to see their greatness. Let your kids know that not everyone is going to like them. Teach them that other peoples’ (dis)approval of them shouldn’t affect their self-esteem. As well, let them know they don’t have to like everyone either, but respecting everybody is a must.
8. It’s OK to cry and feel angry.
Your kids should know that being upset and angry is normal. Allow your son to cry and explore his feelings. Always validate your daughter’s feelings – no matter what they are – and encourage healthy emotional intelligence in a safe and accepting environment.
9. Don’t worry about me.
Your kids should know that your happiness is not their responsibility. Your son should know that you are your own person, and you are adult enough to handle your own feelings.
10. Find your joy.
Encourage your kids to find their passion in life, not yours. If you seek to create a life that you are dreaming for your child, you are setting the stage for conflict and resentment. Instead, let your daughter follow her own dreams and support her every step of the way.