If you have rented a “home away from home”, you can relate to the frenzy of "tidying up" before you leave. On our last trip, I came across this heart shaped set of rocks inscribed with encouraging messages. Our 9-year old daughter created these inspirations and left them as a welcome gift for the next visitors. I stopped in my tracks and felt truly blessed to be a part of such a tenderhearted act.
How can parents raise tenderhearted children? It starts with discipline. Whether you are a stay at home mom or a full time working mom, discipline matters. For the next three weeks, Strongest Mom will talk about discipline in parenting, exercise and eating. Why does discipline matter? According to Buddha, “Discipline leads to freedom.” Have discipline when it comes to boundaries, morals and actions and lead your child to freedom.
You are as you do. If you cannot say “no” to your child, then your child will not honor your parental authority. If you threaten a consequence and don't follow through, then your child will think that you don't care. If you think of discipline as “punishment”, then your child will have a hard time learning from mistakes. Boundaries help teach your child right from wrong, while building valuable social and life skills.
Carry a moral compass of integrity, hard work and compassion. If you want your child to do the right thing always (even when no one is looking), then live your life by the same morals. If you want your child to persevere, then work hard when life gets tough. If you want your child to be tenderhearted, then respect others (and your child). Children learn morals and develop good character by watching how you act and treat others.
You've heard, "Actions speak louder than words". If you want your child to be motivated, then be passionate toward the things you love. If your child has an attitude of entitlement, then teach your child how to go out and be useful. If your child blames others, then teach them how to be accountable so your child learns that actions need to rise above excuses. Being a proactive (not helicopter) parent can help minimize future disasters.
When you are a disciplined parent, your child will learn from mistakes, have a "joie de vivre" attitude, and approach life with courage. As Bob Marley once said, “Better to die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner all the days of your life.”
If your home is anything like ours, it's only a matter of time before a child has a temper tantrum or slams the door shut. How you respond is up to you. Try and be true to yourself and remember this incident is a blip on the radar of your journey to becoming the strongest mom.