I hate to sound like I am ranting and raving but this is a little post about my feelings… So often, I hear people talk about luck and I think that the word has been over-used for many a situation.
I would describe luck as…
The robot turning green as you approach
The best parking bay being free when you pull in
A sale that you didn’t know about
The sun shining when you planned an outdoor function
Your favourite movie being on when you turn the TV on
But there are some things that don’t have much to do with luck…
Raising good kids.
This is not luck.
This is hard work.
We are often complimented on how SJ is such a lovely, well-mannered, sweet natured and easy going child.
We are often told how lucky we are.
But I don’t think luck has played such a big role.
Don’t get me wrong, we have been blessed with a child that hasn’t had any major medical problems – she didn’t have colic or reflux or spend hours at the pediatrician. And she has developed her own little personality, which has been influenced by us and the type of parents that we are. But it also took long hours, hard work and sacrifices to parent SJ into the little being she is today (and we have failed at times, remember her biting?).
But… We were very strict from Day 1. As a couple, we made a mutual decision to follow a strict routine but also to allow this little baby to adapt and adjust around our lives. We followed a strict feeding routine, a strict sleeping routine and our days and nights revolved around this routine for the first 9 weeks – and then she slept through. We weren’t lucky that she slept through, we taught her how to sleep well at night and we followed a feeding routine during the day that ensured she was full at night and this allowed her to sleep.
The same strict routine came to eating to solids too. We offered her food at the correct feeding times and that was it. We still have days where SJ will refuse meals because “she doesn’t feel like it” but then she doesn’t snack on any nice foods until the next meal. She has learnt that this is how meal times work in our house.
We also allowed her to sleep around noise as a little baby and she was exposed to different people and babysitters from the very beginning. She was passed around as a little bundle and encouraged to talk to and play with all family and friends and people we knew. She now has no problem spending time with people that she is familiar with and will greet and engage with all strangers too (something that has to be monitored and re-taught as she grows up as unfortunately, not all strangers are friendly!) But this has given her the confidence to be in a crowd and interact and engage with people of all cultures, race and sex.
We have spent hours encouraging her to be polite and have manners – to always greet people by name when they arrive and say goodbye when they leave. We have taught her table etiquette and manners – she says please and thank you (still often prompted) and says grace before meals. As defiant as she may as a two year old toddler, we don’t often have screaming matches and kicking-feet-tantrums because we don’t allow or accept that behaviour and she knows the consequences (often putting herself in the naughty corner when she knows she has been naughty – which cracks us up!)
We are not perfect parents.
And our children are not perfect kids.
But we try, we try hard.
And it is not just luck.
Have a good Thursday everyone.
Have a good Thursday everyone.