Raising teenage daughters, I have quickly realized that coercion does not work. I am passionate about parenting and am willing to try new things, read new books and implement changes to our lifestyle that I believe will benefit us.
When beginning new ideas, or introducing new behavior, I have to be subtle. I have to do it first. They will see me doing things, and they will follow suit. As parents, we are setting patterns for a lifetime.
I started a blog a few years ago chronicling our new farming project and the beginning years of our home schooling. My mom started reading it. As my blogging became more inclusive I added birth stories from my midwifery practice and documented lots of arts and crafts.
My mom said, recently, “Gosh, Kier, you do all the same things I did while you were growing up! I keep reading about them on your blog.”
“I gardened, I crocheted, and I embroidered. I sewed.”
I just barely remember my mom doing all of these things. If I spend time, consciously thinking about it, I can remember. I have blankets that my mom made. She made them for my daughters too. I remember her doing batik. She embroidered and we always had a garden. I never thought of that. I never realized that I was doing all the things my mom had done.
She was (and is) an avid reader. So am I, so are my daughters.
It reminded me that our children will do what they have seen us doing throughout their childhood.
If you want your children to be unplugged, be unplugged yourself!
Make sure they see you:
- Reading. Have books and magazines around the house.
- Crocheting, knitting or embroidering. Use your hands. Spend time talking to your children while creating something.
- Hiking. Even if they don’t join you each time, let them see you going for a walk with your partner, or friend every day. (Or often!)
- Sitting still. Drink tea with each other. Drink tea with your friends. Let this be a normal way for you to spend time together with friends and family.
- Garden. Grow your own food, or just grow some herbs on your windowsill.
Do the things you want your children to do!
What are some of the things that you do that you remember your mom or dad doing?