Sometimes you read a blog that you wish you’d written. Or that your kids would write.
Today on the A to Z Challenge, S is for Sand In My Toes. As in, the blog, by Tarana Khan Siddiqi. Ever read it? She first appeared on the Coach Daddy scene in a comment on Michelle Nahom’s brilliant guest post about sports parents.
Today, Tarana is here to share five parenting lessons she learned from her dad.
She shares with me a background in journalism and content writing, as well as copy editing. She’s an incredible and expressive parent who has written so many poignant posts, especially on toddlers. You’ll love her style as I do.
It’s an honor to have her here today on the CD. Please give her a warm welcome.
Five parenting lessons I learned from Dad
I’ve always looked up to my Dad, because to me, he’s the best human being I’ve known. As I grew up, I was happy to know that many people looked up to him as well, and still do. I spent a lot of time with him during childhood, mostly because he had his own small business and not a nine-to-five job.
Now that I’m a parent myself, I’m surprised at how much I’m influenced by Dad in how I approach my three-year old son. I never really expected my childhood memories to have an impact on my parenting style, but inspiration can come from anywhere. And this just goes on to show how our childhood experiences have a major role to play in the kind of person we grow up to be.
These are the five parenting lessons I learned from my Dad
1. Answer every question.
I had a lot of questions as a little girl. A lot! I was as curious as any 5 year old, I guess. I wanted to know how planes flew and why something was one way and not the other. Well, my Dad always answered my questions. Every single one of them. He never said. ‘I’m busy’ or ‘I don’t know’. He did his best to factually provide the best information he could. I think I learned a lot about how things work just from him. Back to the present, and my toddler is pretty curious too. When I’m about to throw my hands up with his barrage of questions, I try to think of my Dad, and reply to every one to the best of my knowledge.
2. Be patient. Very patient.
It’s not that my Dad never lost his temper. But when he helped me learn new things, like riding a bike, he was extremely patient. From this, I learned to keep trying when doing something new and not give up easily. As a parent, if there’s one virtue you really need, it’s patience. Like any other first-time parent, I’ve been through some challenging times, and they keep coming. But I just try to keep moving ahead, and keep my cool. Because, there’s really no other way of doing it without losing your mind!
3. Reward honesty.
Even when I did something wrong, I found it hard to lie to my Dad. Somehow, he made it look like there was no other option except to tell the truth, and he didn’t make it hard. Of course, there were consequences, but they were preceded by a pat on the back for coming clean about my actions. Over time, I’ve realized how important it is to allow our children to be honest with us. Open communication without fear is what builds a great relationship between parents and their kids. My son is a little young to understand this, but I just let him know that he can tell me anything and everything, and I hope it remains this way.
4. Set a good example.
Being a good parent is also about being a good human being. Because, our kids mirror our behaviour. Growing up, I saw my Dad as a hard-working and modest person who always took care not to hurt another’s feelings. I wish I could say that I picked up on all those qualities, but I am less than perfect. But since becoming a parent, I have made an extra effort to do the right things and be the kind of person I want my son to become.
5. Make your kids laugh.
He didn’t have the easiest life, but my Dad did remember to laugh. I’m glad he did, because he made us laugh with him. To make some great memories for your kids, just make them laugh often. It’s as simple as that. Kids don’t always remember the expensive gifts you got them, but they will definitely recall the good times you spent together laughing and being silly. That’s the one thing I try to do every day.
Tarana Khan is mom to a toddler, living an expat life. She loves writing and has done her stints as a copywriter, reporter and content editor, before embracing parenthood full time. She blogs at Sand In My Toes, where you can drop by to read more of her parenting and other adventures! You can also catch up with her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Google+.