I know I’m not the only mom who thinks her kids are the greatest kids in the world, but I think they definitely deserve a little recognition here. You see, my kids are military kids and military kids live a different kind of life. They have moved around every 2-3 years, changed schools 7 times, helped me through episodes of crying and shaking from anxiety, seen their father deploy more times than we can count, and have already experienced death of a loved one so very close to home. Not only that, but my daughter and my oldest son have Autism and my middle son has OCD, yet they still manage to keep themselves on the Honor Roll and they focus on their priorities front and center.
Though I am big on keeping a “family” together, the life we have lived also played a role in maturing my kids faster than normal. They learned different cultures, different traditions, coping techniques for deployment issues, how to make new friends, ways to adjust to new environments, and they learned to depend on each other as a family. In fact, my middle son is so much more mature for his age that at the mere age of 8 years old, he was recognized by the news media as a student community role model.
Positive teens start with giving
My teens are always finding ways to give back to the community. They volunteer in their schools, they help old women cross the street, they shovel the snow in the neighbors driveway, and in the photo below, they served a local spaghetti dinner to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity, which go towards building homes for the local homeless families, and the kids help build the homes!
My teens also get themselves involved with Civil Air Patrol (military organization for kids), Students Against Bullying, Teens Against Drugs, and local business and educational projects. The first step to giving is to love yourself and everything in your life that you ALREADY have! Too many kids are focused on making lots of money, getting the best computer systems, and getting everything free or handed to them from someone else. When we teach our kids to love what they have and be happy with who they are, the positive will outweigh the negative in all areas of life. We believe fully in KARMA!
Here are some other ways my husband and I positively influence our kids:
Make them do chores
All of our kids have chores. We teach our kids that life is not about free hand-me-downs and real people work for the things they have. My kids do get an allowance, but they have a list of chores to do every Sunday as well as clearing the dinner table and washing dishes. This gives them a sense of responsibility and they learn to appreciate what parents have to do for them as well.
Eat dinner together as a family
We understand this is hard to do for today’s modern families. In fact, we don’t do it all the time either as my husband’s work schedule fluctuates. However, when he is home, or even when it is just me and my kids, we always eat together. Whether we sit at the dinner table or in the living room to watch a movie while we eat, we are still together and it gives us a chance to talk about something.
Do what they love too!
You might not like the same things they do, but take some time to understand what they like. We play video games together as a family, we play board games together, we go glamping together, and we even cosplay (dress up as a character) together and attend conventions for geeks! These are things our teens look forward to and when we give our time for them, they are happy to give their time to us in return. Showing interest in their hobbies is an invitation to open the door and be happy about who they are growing up to be!
We understand life is too short
When my brother-in law past away a few years ago, my children learned that life is too short and that each moment together is another memory that can’t ever be replaced. Their uncle was very close to them and he had suffered for a long time before finding his resting place. My kids understand that life is about being kind, considerate, open minded, and putting family first. Each of my kids are their own individuals, they think for themselves, yet they always listen to the other side of a story or argument, and they always stick up for those less fortunate.
It is sad that in the news today, it focuses on the society of teenagers and young adults who are inconsiderate, intolerable to differences of opinion, and close-minded to different races, religions, and cultures. Not only are these kids today disrespectful to others, but they don’t even hold themselves accountable and they feel the world owes them something just for being born. Everyone wants to make a difference, but they want someone else to do the work. We need to start focusing on the positive kids who are making a difference in today’s society, those who are truly step up for the good in life rather than all the negativity. So compared to a majority of today’s society, I am 200% positive that my kids are a rare breed and I hope they will become some of greatest role models of our future.
How to raise a great kid
A great kid isn’t determined by how much they make, how successful they are in their career, or how big their house is. Raising great kids means they are happy with who they are, they love and cherish their family, and they respect everyone.
Raising a great kid means you have given the best of yourself to them without asking for anything in return!