Raising Ayden {The Preteen years}

So during this unintentional hiatus from blogging this summer I have thought several different times about what in the world I'm going to write about next. I don't really know how to write about "my life" in an interesting way other than talking about our experiences on different subjects involving my family and motherhood experiences. Talking about what we did that weekend just seems kind of boring to me. I felt like I had it pretty much covered with breastfeeding, fertility issues, extended rear facing, and baby wearing... among other subjects. Since most of those have come to a close for us for now (weaned, forward facing now, pregnant and unable to wear this squirmy toddler) I was at a loss of what to talk about. 

I read a blog post recently at We are THAT family that really got me thinking about how hard parenting is and how that changes at different ages. What really hit home was the quote..

"If it isn't hard, maybe we aren't doing it right." 

That sparked some inspiration because you know what? Parenting is hard. Raising kids is hard work. We all know how we want our littles to act when they grow up. Thats not the problem. The problem is HOW to get them to act like that when they get older.

 How do you get a child to be compassionate, thoughtful and responsible?
 How do you get them to pay close attention, be a go getter and just plum happy? 
My answer?

I don't know. 
Im working on that.

My child Ayden... oh my first born, handsome, spastic, smart and athletic Ayden. Him and I, at the wonderful age of 9, butt heads daily. I yell at him, I shake my head at him and I mutter things under my breath at him... daily. I am always telling him "I don't do this (yelling, making him mad) because its fun, I do this because its my (our) job to teach him from right and wrong and to teach him to be a great human" (for the lack of better words. Hey, Im not great with improv) He always seems to understands but not before I see the slight eye roll or the "yeah, whatever" look while he is walking away. I always second guess my actions and the way I handle things. I think we all do as parents. 

So I have thought about it a lot and here are the few things I try to do better on the daily...

Be the person I want my kids to be. This is the most crucial one if you ask me. I don't always succeed, in fact, I fail daily. However, every day is a new day and that could be the day I succeed at total awesomeness. For example, I have noticed how my slight road rage rubs off on Ayden... I have seen him yell at cars for me. I notice that if I grumble at the dog or the person in front of me he is more likely to do so as well. I have also noticed the gentle way he is with his younger brother (at times) and how some of the small, positive things BJ and I do rub off on him. So it works, I promise. 

Explain the reason behind things instead of using the phrase "because I said so..."
I know sometimes its easier to throw out that line, especially when you are tired and they are being hard headed. However, I try to explain why I "won't let you play in the front yard" (we live on a main road) and why I say "no you can't have a friend over this weekend" (previous plans) or that "Yes you have to try that baked potato soup" (which he ended up loving by the way). I think they can accept things better that way and gives them the tools to see all sides of a situation. It also, hopefully, can give him the tools to think outside (and all the way around) the box.

I make comments stating "We don't have the money for that"
because I believe that it is important for him to understand that money does not grow on trees and there are a lot of things we do that we consider a "treat". Ayden is a great baseball player. He has used the same glove and bat for years. We have had to get new cleats and helmet as he grows, but nothing too expensive. However, this year he was selected to play all stars after regular season and then joined a Fall baseball league and BJ and I decided that it was time to get him a better quality bat. He deserved it and has earned it. So for his birthday this year we surprised him with a Easton Maco bat (don't ask me details about the bat, all I know is it was expensive and is bright ass orange!) He is fully aware of how much it cost but also aware that his good behavior and dedication to baseball is what awarded him this bat that he holds so dear. I want him to understand the value of money and that working hard for something really is the best way to go.

And always remember, it takes a village. 

Just a little thank you for 14,000 views since Feb 2015!!

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Jennifer London said...

Awesome Mika! Trust me, our kids don't come with an instruction manual tied around their toe when they are born so we have all had to figure it out as we go. You are doing an incredible job with your sweet boys! Hang in there! Love you, Jennifer London

Mika Beggs said...

Jennifer, thank you so much! I do think things would be much simpler if they did come with a manual, I mean really!! hahaha, thank you for your sweet comment, love you girl!