Trying harder with my parenting

Parenting

There are certain aspects of my parenting where I must try harder. Pic credit below.

As the end of the school year has neared, I’ve been getting reflective about my parenting skills. Like most mums and dads, I’ve maybe got a bit lazy about one or two things as I gear up for the summer holidays.

I’ve come up with a list of things that I think I need to work on. If written in a school report, I think the comment would be “must try harder”!

Here’s what I’m going to be doing. Please do have a read and tell me what you also plan to work on. Maybe we will inspire each other.

Improve my children’s diet

On the one hand, I don’t feel I need to be too hard on myself. Helen and Elizabeth start every day with fruit and they get fruit and / or vegetables at lunchtime and in the evening. The only thing is, I’ve stopped experimenting. I used to ensure there was real variety in their meals and introduce them to new foods but this hasn’t happened in months. I’ve trotted out the same, safe, dishes time after time. They get their five a day (…most days) but I need to make sure it comes from more varied sources. Who knows, I may even get them eating salad.

Do more sports activities with the kids
I think my strong point is encouraging the kids to play outside and lead a healthy lifestyle. They swim, they cycle, they walk etc. Neither my wife nor I are particularly good at picking up a bat or ball and playing sports activities with the kids. I think we should do a bit more of this.

Be more organised with homework
By and large, we’re pretty good at persuading Helen to do homework. As the end of term has neared, however, I can’t deny standards have slipped. Over the summer I think we may invest in a proper desk for her to work at in her bedroom so she can escape her ever-curious younger sister who tends to wade in and break Helen’s concentration.

Speak more French

I have French heritage and family. Although I’m far from fluent, I always used to speak to the kids in French and nurture an interest in the language by playing games in French and getting them to listen to French podcasts etc. Helen has a grasp of the basics but little Elizabeth hasn’t progressed beyong “s’il vous plait”. There are members of my family that speak three, four, five…upwards of ten languages. To get your kids to grasp a language you have to start very young and I’ve let this drop right off the radar. We must get back on track.

Get those stabilisers off the bike
Where we live is very hilly. It’s not ideal cycling territory and so Helen doesn’t get taken out to ride her bike that often. Many of her friends have been cycling without stabilisers for ages. I think the summer holidays are maybe the ideal time to work on this.

So tell me, do you have the end of term vibe? Have you got a bit lazy about anything? What are you going to change? Maybe you’re brave and think your routine is perfect? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear.

Pic credit; Seth Anderson. Sourced from Flikr.com and reproduced under Creative Commons agreement 2.0. Image has been cropped slightly and placed in a frame by John Adams.

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13 Comments

  1. July 17, 2015 / 7:27 am

    I have definitely got lazy on the food front too. I know what they like (and it just about meets their nutritional needs) so I’ve stopped doing anything new. Off to check out the recipe books and write a list of a new dish for each week of the summer – feeling inspired!

    • John Adams
      Author
      July 19, 2015 / 4:32 am

      That’s EXACTLY the space I’m in! Like you, I will be going off to check the recipe books to get some inspiration.

  2. July 17, 2015 / 10:10 am

    Firstly, the perfect parent doesn’t exist. We are all guilty of getting a little lazy with our parenting, as to stay razor sharp on all aspects of our child’s upbringing 100% of the time is impossible.
    The diet thing is one of the easier things to stay on top of; though we feel we should be buying organic fruit and veg all the time (granted, opinion varies on the health benefits) with all those “nasty” chemicals being sprayed all over that healthy food. Our budget won’t allow it though, so pathetic as it may sound, this is a source of guilt for us.
    Homework goes fairly smoothly and as I’m at home a lot, I am fortunate to help the kids out when needed. The desk is a great idea and has worked well for our thirteen year old, who has her laptop and huge array of stationary at hand.
    Learning another language can only be a good thing; we’re wondering if Mandarin is the way to go : /
    We have three very active boys who love being out and about, and one thirteen year old girl who wouldn’t go for a walk if we paid her; but we’re not overly concerned, as being thirteen, this is fairly normal.
    In summary I would say yes, we all get lazy and “could do better” and it is right that we should always strive to do the best we can. Always being there for your kids, giving them lots of hugs and listening to them are what we try to do and if we can get that right, perhaps it makes up for our slight failings in other areas.We should also cut ourselves some slack as mums and dads are just people and striving for parenting perfection is probably not healthy for us, and that is kind of important.

    • John Adams
      Author
      July 19, 2015 / 4:31 am

      Thanks for stopping by WIll. You’re quite right, the perfect parent does not exist. I have no wish to be that person! You see so many parents attempt it and mess themselves up along the way. I just know there are a few things I need to be a bit better about.

  3. July 17, 2015 / 10:08 pm

    For me, one of the key lessons is in allowing the kids some down-time. They’re so tired at the end of a school year that they need a little space to decompress, so there isn’t a need to cram every day of every week with big, exciting stuff. Like you, I’m hoping to spend some time just introducing them to a few more sports – something I’ve been a bit lax about, in truth – and instead of bikes (which the boys have mastered and Kara is progressing nicely with), I think we’ll be hitting the pool to get some much needed practice in there.

    • John Adams
      Author
      July 19, 2015 / 4:29 am

      Ah, the pool. We had a little incident at the pool the other day. I’ll be blogging about that shortly. ANyway, some down time is a very good idea. Think I will follow your example.

  4. July 18, 2015 / 7:13 am

    Oh my goodness my list could be identical to yours! I’d only add ‘get more sleep’!!
    x

    • John Adams
      Author
      July 19, 2015 / 4:28 am

      Here’s hoping you get some sleep! I could do with some of that also.

  5. July 18, 2015 / 10:00 pm

    Don’t be too hard on yourself. We all go through phases with the kids when we perhaps aren’t as encouraging or nurturing or even as strict as we think we should be. The things that you are doing are great and I have no doubt will result in great people. #bigfatlinky

    • John Adams
      Author
      July 19, 2015 / 4:27 am

      Thanks Rob. This parenting thing is cyclical isn’t it, with highs and lows? Think I’ve just been so busy gearing up for the summer break I’ve taken my eye off the ball.

  6. July 20, 2015 / 9:28 pm

    I need to try harder too. Baby doesn’t eat very well, as she simply won’t even try somethings, so then you stick to the same old things. You need to teach me French, we move there in 2017 and I am the same level as Elizabeth!… Thanks for linking up with #TheList x

    • John Adams
      Author
      July 20, 2015 / 10:11 pm

      I have a better idea, we’ll get ELizabeth to teach you French! By 2017 she’ll hopefully speak it better than I do.