My Kids, Parenting

Danae Learns Responsibility

One afternoon two weeks ago, Danae told me that they made something in school that involved cutting. The first time she shared her story, she just said that they made something. By evening, before going to bed, she told me that somebody cut her hair after making the craft. Curious, I asked her who it was. When she said she didn’t know, I immediately asked if it was her. And it was! She told me that when her teacher asked, she said it wasn’t her.

I wasn’t angry that she cut her hair (because thank God it wasn’t noticeable at all), but I told her that what she did was wrong. She shouldn’t have lied to her teacher about it, and she needed to apologize. She cried her eyes out. She didn’t want to apologize because she was afraid that her teacher will get mad (her words). She said she lied because she was afraid of her teacher. She was so upset that for the first time, she said that she did not want to go back to school anymore. I comforted her and assured her that I will be with her when she apologizes, that we will not do it in front of other people, and that her teacher will appreciate her honesty. After much talk, we settled it and she agreed. I did my part in accompanying her the next day and making sure that it was only her teacher listening, and Danae did her part.

What a great opportunity for our child to learn responsibility. Now we know for sure, that she will not cut her hair again OR lie about it again. We made her own up to her responsibility by letting her face her fear, admit the truth, and apologize for her mistake. She is only 5 but she is already starting to actually learn the value of honesty and integrity (also that lying is unacceptable in our family), learn the reality of actions and consequences, learn the power of her family’s love and support, and learn the freedom that forgiveness (asking for it & receiving it) and grace bring.

That day, my daughter acted like an adult. That day, my daughter made us so very proud.

Just My Thoughts, Parenting

CONTACT!

EYE CONTACT

When Danae was born, I was mesmerized. I could not take my eyes off her and she loved looking into my eyes as well. We would hold our gaze for minutes at a time, especially while she was breastfeeding. It was like communicating to each other how deeply we loved each other, silently. No words could fully express how we both felt anyway.

Ever since, maybe also because of the mommy books I read then, I felt it important to have eye contact with my child, most especially when we would speak to her. It  is more sincere and it makes more impact when we tell her that we love her, that we’re proud of her, or when we give her instructions that she needs to obey.

We taught our kids early, and are continuing to teach them especially because Noelle refused in the beginning, to look into a person’s eyes when they apologize. A blurted out apology is unacceptable because it does not hold true. A proper apology teaches them to take responsibility for their actions. You hurt or disrespect someone, you look into their eyes to let them know how truly sorry you are. It’s hard but it’ll teach them to think twice before doing or saying something hurtful, and to teach them to humble themselves — something that is still difficult for me to this day. It’s another story though if the other person doesn’t want to look at them when they’re trying to say sorry. We just make sure that our girls do their part. They are being trained for something they will need to do, hopefully not often, when they’re grown up.

Eye contact shows my children that I am serious about something I’m trying to teach them, and it teaches them to pay attention. It shows them that I am listening to them and am interested when they’re communicating with me. It shows them also how sincere we are when we’re the ones apologizing to them. It fosters our deep connection with them when we express our love, joy, and gratefulness.

I’ve always disliked it when people do not make eye contact when spoken to. It feels like either they’re hiding something, or they’re lying, or they’re not listening, or they don’t care, or they’re prideful, or they’re insecure. I want my children to be sincere, trust worthy, humble, secure, and respectable human beings. I know teaching them eye contact will help.

PHYSICAL CONTACT

The other day, Danae told me that her classmate kissed her on the lips. Appalled, I asked her why she let him. She explained to me that it wasn’t her who kissed him, but he who kissed her.

Teaching opportunity once again! I told Danae that when her classmate/s kiss her, they are not respecting her. When they try it again, she should stop them. It will teach them to respect her, and they will eventually understand that they must not treat her that way. Overreacting, am I? I don’t think so. I say train them early so it won’t be so difficult for us parents and for our kids when they’re faced with such challenges during adolescence and adulthood.

This actually applies to all ladies. We have the power to say NO! If you want to be respected, set the boundaries. The men will take their cue from us. If we tolerate it, then they’re going to keep doing it. If we don’t, they will stop. This way, you weed out the boys from the men. This way, we know who earns our respect as well.