We started our family few months and 20 years ago. We are blessed with four children, 2 boys and 2 girls. After we got married both me and my wife continued to work even after she gave birth to our first son. We decided that she stopped working when our first born became sickly and we had to be in the hospital every month. We didn’t know why but we deemed that our child needed personal attention of a parent every day.
Parenting is truly a difficult task. There are challenges that will come your way which you will have to face without any preparation. In this article, we will share with you some of the major challenges we encountered being parents for more than 20 years.
Parenting continues even after your children become parents themselves so we are limiting the scope of this article to the challenges encountered before our children became teen agers. Currently three of our children are above 12 and 1 below it so we are still experiencing these challenges till now.
We will also share with you some of the actions we took and some principles we followed to resolve the challenge. We will share with you too, some learnings we got from the experiences. We hope you continue reading.
We did not have much problem with our finances when we started our family and even until now but it is quite a challenge managing it. Balancing needs and wants truly requires much discipline. There are people who can get by with less while there are people who still lacks with more. We would like to think that we are classified under the first one.
Disciplining ourselves to live within our means and sacrificing our wants for our future needs helped us improved our financial condition. We created a budget according to our income ensuring that we save at least 10 percent of it. We avoided debts as much as possible and paid our credit cards spendings fully every due date.
Indeed, as parents, we should think about tomorrow and prepare for it but we shouldn’t be too anxious that we become uncharitable to others trying to save up for the future. Remember that the more you give the more you receive.
Sickness and Accidents
It is a challenge enough to parents every time their child get sick but it is more challenging if all your children get sick at the same time. It happened to our family. One night all of our children had a fever of above 39 degrees Celsius. We were very worried so we rushed them all to the nearest clinic. We were very thankful that it was just a bad case of bacterial infection and that we had HMO to pay for all the expenses.
Another challenge is when my daughter met an accident. She was hit by a motorcycle while crossing our street. We prayed very hard for the accident not to cause any permanent damage to her and that she recovers very soon. Our good Lord answered positively and our daughter went back to her usual self after a month.
What we learned from these kinds of challenges is to always stay calm especially in times of emergency. Panicking never help and blaming anyone especially ourselves must be avoided. We also realized that regularly putting money aside for savings really helps and buying an HMO is a must. Most of all, prayer works.
Sickness can be prevented by proper hygiene and eating healthy diet. Instilling both habits to children is a big challenge to parents. This we will discuss next.
Training Children on Healthy Diet and Proper Hygiene
Persuading children to eat fruits and vegetables is truly a challenge. In our case what we do is that we chop the vegetables into small pieces and serve them as a side dish to a more delectable food. For example, fried chicken with celery or buttered shrimp with squash. For fruits we blend them into a juice or shake. We serve them during snack times. We also tell them constantly to eat vegetable to avoid illnesses . As of this time, all my children eat vegetables and fruits without blending or shredding.
Instilling the habit of proper hygiene is another challenge in raising children. Nothing beats regular inspection and constant reminder in contending with this challenge. Regularly check the nails, the teeth, the ears, the hair and the skin of your children. Improper hygiene will reflect in these parts of the body. Constantly, remind them of brushing teeth, taking a bath and cutting their nails.
Not all children want to go to school. We have confirmed this with our children. We have a child who is truly brilliant and is always a member of the honor roll every end of the school year. We have a child who is diligent enough to pass and we have a child who needed close monitoring.
When our child was constantly getting low scores in exams, we were concerned and very worried. We even hired a tutor but it did not helped a lot. As years passed, we realized that wanting to study must come from within and pushing our child to want it was wrong because it just gave us heart aches. We changed our ways and accepted our child’s capabilities. Instead of expecting high grades we let our child feel that we were very happy that he passed his subjects. Soon he finished senior high school and entered college.
Too much Online Games and Social Media
Online gaming and social media consume the attention of this generation’s children. It is challenging for parents to put control to their children’s usage of these internet applications. We have the same problem at home. What we did to limit their online availability is to assign them with daily house chores like washing the dishes, preparing the table for dining, washing the car, feeding the pets and cleaning their rooms.
We also turn off the modem every 10 PM and remind them constantly to work on their homework, projects and tasks for school before doing other things.
Instilling Moral Values
Exposure to much data poses threat to children’s mind. Without proper guidance, children may deem things to be right when they are really wrong. We found it challenging to explain news and stories written or filmed that can be found on the internet especially when they are fake or contradicting upright values. We don’t know how successful we are in raising our children to have good moral values but we try to talk to them as much as possible and ask them of their opinions about different things. In this way we know what they have in mind and have a chance to influence them to change their line of thinking if necessary.
Of course, the best way to instill good moral values to your children is to show them that you are practicing it yourself. When you say prayers really work then you should pray yourself,
Raising children differs from one generation to another. You cannot raise your children the way your parents raised you because there are too much differences. But no matter how fast years pass, one thing remains the same and that is the parent’s love for their children will guide them on how to raise them well.
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