My oldest child is in her third year at Wits. I’ll never forget when I hugged her and said goodbye that first day at preschool. Now, as I look back over how I parented, I see many things I could’ve done better, but I also see things I somehow got right.
Of course there are things I’d like to go back and change, but there are things you will never regret doing for your children.
Making it a point to hug, hug, hug.
Take the extra seconds to hug your children, no matter how much of a hurry you’re in. Sometimes it is annoying when the come back for another hug and another one …. Trust me, you’ll miss those when they are all grown up.
Staying up late to talk.
As children get older, they stay up later and later and later. There were many nights I stayed up late just to hang around. No regrets.
Laugh with your children.
Laugh, smile, have fun with your children. I simply just want them to know I love being around them. They need to know I don’t just love them, I like them too.
Putting down your devices.
When I hear my children making their way to me, I put away my phone, and try to give them my full attention. It’s difficult and I often failed. Devices don’t grow up and leave home. Children do. Giving more time to your children than to your devices is one of the biggest things you’ll never regret.
Teaching them about being kind
We can’t force our children to make faith a part of their lives, but we can teach them to be kind to others, to show empathy and to give or share even in tough times. Teach your children to give back, to care about others, and to be a person of change.
Taking the trip.
Travel as much as you can. Whether to family for the weekend or overseas for a special birthday. You will never regret making those memories. Last year, when Nina and I were in Europe, it was such a cool experience to explore Amsterdam and go to Kafka museum in Prague. There are so many things we can show our kids. Look at cloud formations. Look at the stars. Go to the museum. Let them learn and see the world.
Tuck them into bed at night.
Make time to listen to their stories. It will teach you so much about what is going on in their hearts and about what they love. Look them in the eyes and let them know that what they are saying is really important to you. Your child will remember this. Saying goodnight, pulling up the covers and kissing their heads is such a gift. Do this every night. This is definitely one of the things you will never regret doing.
Making them learn the value of work.
I want my children to know that work matters and that a good work ethic, where you go above and beyond is an excellent skill. My children know how to do the washing, to sweep and mop the floor, pack and unpack the dishwasher, to clean their rooms and the list goes on. I will never regret teaching them the value of work.
Saying I’m sorry.
Because lets face it – I’m not perfect. I mess up. I make mistakes. So they need to hear me say I’m sorry and that I love them and that they’re important to me. So that means sometimes I will say I’m sorry.
These are just some of the thing I will never regret doing for my children. The list of things you will never regret doing for your children is so long and I am sure each one of us has their own. You should read Finding Joy and the book The Brave Art of Motherhood by Rachel Marie Martin http://findingjoy.net