Day 12 of the Ketchup With Us blog posts by number challenge (and you can get in on the action by going to Michele’s website – ODNT – or Mel’s website – According to Mags), and this post is inspired by my constant guilt about the job I’m doing as a mom. I don’t think I’m doing THAT badly, but there are definitely things I should be doing as a parent…but am not.
Five Things I Should be Doing as a Parent
1) Encouraging my son to learn to ride a bicycle. My boy is 7 1/2 years old. He’s been on a bike a few times, but he’s become frustrated each time and ended up having a meltdown. Rather than enduring more of those, my husband and I have just not pushed him to keep trying. However, there’s absolutely no excuse for him to not learn how to ride a bike, and we know that it’s one of those things that makes childhood more fun. And what are we teaching him by letting him give up? By us giving up?
2) Organizing play dates. I know a number of parents who are organizing play dates for their kids on a regular basis. Like, I mean every day, including weekends. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. My son isn’t interested in play dates – I think he gets enough of other kids at recess! – and so I don’t pursue these.
3) Signing up my son for community sports and other such activities. We tried. We really did. My son played soccer one summer when he was 4. He didn’t enjoy it. My son went to one karate lesson just to see what it was like. Running around a gymnasium for an hour was too much for him after a full day of grade 1. My son took skating lessons the same year. He didn’t enjoy them (but he did really, really well). Like the bike riding, my husband and I did not push him to continue with these activities. However, I do want him to be well-rounded and have something he likes to do outside of hanging out at home, and so I have signed him up for art camp this summer. I’m hoping it’s not an unpleasant experience for him, and that it will be something he looks forward to continuing. Maybe it will be his “thing”.
4) More aggressively potty training my 3 year old daughter. My daughter turned 3 in April, and though she does go on the potty sometimes, it’s not a regular thing. Sometimes she wants to, and sometimes she doesn’t. I know I should be encouraging her to go on the potty all the time, but I haven’t done that. I figure that when she really wants to do it, she will. I’m not too worried, because I’m sure she’ll be potty trained some day…and it will likely be before she’s leaving for university!
5) Preparing my 3 year old daughter for school. When my son was little, my husband and I spent a lot of time on teaching him things. We would read all the time with him, we would work on identifying shapes, colours, letters, and various objects. We were very conscious/deliberate about doing this, so that our little guy would be prepared for school. I remember thinking I had failed as a parent when, at kindergarten orientation several months before the school year, he couldn’t cut well or print his name neatly. He was 3 1/2. (He did, however, know his numbers, colours, and letters.) Now I really feel bad because I haven’t been consciously teaching my little girl the same things I taught my son or reading to her very much at all. Poor second child.
So at least I KNOW I need to improve on these things, right? That’s a step in the right direction, isn’t it?