People are always shocked to know I have four sons. They always ask, how did you remain sane?
I had rules at home. These rules were explained, discussed, and put on paper, (some were signed by all of us).
Implementing the rules was not easy. When they realized I meant business, there were arguments, tears, and sulking.
My job as a parent is not to make my child happy, but to raise them well.
WHY RULES ARE NEEDED
Rules make life easy and I was a single mom at that time, and I was raising them on my own. I had two jobs and I had no energy to wonder where my teenage sons were and what time they will be home.
Rules provide order and predictability. Despite these strict rules, I enjoyed and still enjoy a very good relationship with my sons.
Rules create prosperity for a family. Because I didn’t have to worry too much, I was able to focus on work and provide a good life for them.
Rules create a good relationship for parent and children. When children follow rules, it makes them feel good and comfortable in the presence of the parent.
Did they always follow these rules? Of course not. But at least, they knew decisions were not made arbitrarily.
But rules at home should not just be for kids. Parents should have rules, too.
When parent behave, kids follow.
- I respected my kids. Early on, I made a decision that I will not raise them in fear. There is no place for bullies or humiliation at home. I knew that if my kids respect me, I will be the biggest influence in their life no matter what age they are.
- I NEVER scolded in public. I never disciplined in front of another sibling. It crushes their spirit. I have seen some parents embarrass and humiliate their children. That is a mortal sin to me.
- I respected their opinion. Even as young kids, I asked their opinion. This helps develop their decision-making skills. They also feel valued.
- I communicated my values clearly and walked the talk- both in my career and personal life. They saw that my faith defined me. My sons should know what a good woman looks like.
- Home is a sanctuary. I made sure that when I was home, it was a happy time. I promised myself that my presence would be a source of happiness for my children and not anxiety. This meant I was not a nag. I chose my battles well.
- I made them feel secure. I have life insurance and they knew that if anything happened to me, they will be ok. Children need to know they are safe.
- I am generous to my children. Children who grew up with stingy parents are resentful and bitter. I always tell them, if it’s a need, you don’t even have to ask. If it’s a want, we plan and save.
- I always kept my promise. When I give my word to my children, I honor it. That taught them to trust me. To a child, a parent’s word is everything.
- Home is a healing place. If my children had issues with each other, I mediate and I am a peacemaker.
- I prioritized their well being. I promised myself that in all decisions that I made, I will consider my children. This one rule stopped me from making stupid decisions.
Rules are essential to happiness. When clearly defined, life is easy for both parent and child.
I had one overarching rule. Obey and trust my decisions. I made it clear to my kids, not just in words but by the way I lived my life, that their well being is my utmost goal. And they believed that. And I did my best to keep my promise.