Monday, September 27, 2010

Dr. Roz and Kil: Parenting 101

My first time holding Nay...
I think being a parent is one of the biggest joys that you can be blessed with. God truly blesses us with angels to take care of. Next month (November 8) Naomi will be 5 years old! I can't believe it! It seems just like yesterday Tee told me she was pregnant and we went to Babies R Us to start picking things out. I can remember going to find out what the sex was and hoping and praying we were going to have a boy, and when we found out I was having a girl I wanted to bust out crying but I knew Tee would've killed me! My thing was "what am I going to do with a girl? Have tea parties?"

Well, 5 years later I can honestly say I wouldn't trade Naomi for 5 sons! She is TRULY my mini me. It's crazy that I thought I wouldn't be able to do anything with a daughter because Nay does EVERYTHING with me! She's been diggin' (record shopping) with me since she could barely walk. Been watching basketball with me since she came home from the hospital. Not to mention goes to all the Georgetown game with me and my peoples. Helps me wash the cars and she knows the bare basics of using my MPC 2000XL (my drum machine) and she just wrote her first two songs with the melody, verses and even a hook and just recorded her first song! Just another example of how we think we know what and who we need but as usual we have to trust that God knows best.

I have been blessed that people have asked me "how are you such a great dad?" Number one, it's a blessing that people see me that way and number two it's a blessing because I think I'm just an aiight dad and that I suck in a lot of places but I'm working hard everyday to get better. It's always a blessing for people to think more highly of you then you do of yourself, usually it's the other way around. My first answer to why I'm a good dad is simple...God. Without his guidance I'm nothing. My second answer is that for over 10 years I've worked with youth in SE Washington DC and I've learned what NOT to do for and to your kids. And I just take what I saw at work for 10 years and flip it and give Naomi the opposite of what the MAJORITY of my kids parents (and I'm not saying in ANY way that all parents from SE DC are the worst either) give them.

I just wanted to share a few things that I think are important to being good parents. Now in no way am I saying if you don't do these things, you're not a good parent or anything like that. I'm just sharing what has worked for Tee and I. And prayerfully some of the parents out there will chime in with some of the things that they think can lead us to be better parents.

#1 Pray for your children and teach them how to pray.

I don't think a day goes by when Tee and I don't pray for Naomi. For her well being, that she will be everything God wants her to be and that we're doing a good job being her parents. And everyday we all pray before we leave the house and before Naomi goes to bed. Naomi is turning into the ill prayer too. When she prays her prayers can deal with everything from thanking God for taking care of everyone to help Daddy find a new job to thanks for the new toy I got today. It's SO important to us that Naomi knows about God at an early age. We also just brought her a GREAT book called "My First Message" by Eugene H. Peterson. It tells the Bible's stories but at the end of each story there is a prayer, a question for the child to answer and something for the child to do.

#2 Talk to your kids.

It amazes me how parents don't talk to their kids. It seems so obvious but a lot of parents don't do it. My best friend shared with me something he does with his family that we've incorporated into doing with ours. While we're eating dinner we go around the table and ask what was the best part of your day and what was the worst part of your day. You'd be surprised to find out what you might learn not only from your kids but from your spouse about their day and what they might be going through.

Nay's 1st time diggin...

3. Share with your kids.

And what I mean by "share with 'em" is let them know that you have struggles too. Too many times as parents we just talk "at" our kids and not "with" them. For example, Nay is VERY impatient...but so am I! So if I'm getting on Nay about being patient, I gotta throw "and you know daddy needs to learn to be more patient too" in the mix too. We've gotta let our kids know we're human too and that we've messed up & will continue to mess up and help them to understand why there are rules for them to follow. At the end of one of Nay's bible stories, they said to ask your parents to tell a story of a time when they made a bad decision and what were the consequences. I told Nay about this time I lied to my moms about not getting my report card (but I did get it) and how my moms came to the school and found out I lied and I got beat when I got home. Nay was in shock and ran and told Tee the story I just told her and was like "mommy, daddy lied to granny and got his butt beat! I'm not gonna do that!" Lol...

4. Tell your kids you're proud of them.

The #1 rule in our home is to simply "try". That's what I expect from myself, Tanya and Naomi. I know we're not gonna be perfect and get an A+ on every test but I do expect us all to try. And not a day goes by when I don't tell Nay I'm proud of her. It can be for doing her homework, for the prayer she said, for trying to tie her shoes, etc. One day Nay didn't do her homework right and she said "I didn't do it right, I know you're not proud of me" and I was like "I'm ALWAYS proud of you...even when you don't do something right."

#5 Tell your kids you love them.

I must tell Naomi I love her 1,000,000 times a day! Everyday when I drop Nay off at school I ask her "how much do I love you?" And she stretches her arms out wide and grunts trying to reach for something (I told her I love her SO much she'll never be able to reach it) and says "that much". It's important that our kids know that we love them no matter what. When they're doing great or when they're showing their butts, they need to know we love them.

6. Teach your kids to give back.

When Naomi was 3 we volunteered at our church for Thanksgiving helping to make plates for the homeless and everyone was shocked we dragged a 3 year old with us. But it was important for Tee and I to have Naomi see firsthand that you have to help people in life. Not only people who have less then you but people in general. When we go through Nay's old clothes to give to other people whether it's for people we know or for donations, we're teaching her that you give to people who may not have. Now, when she can't fit something, she'll come to us and say "can I give this to someone who may need it?" One of her activities in her Bible was to think of something she could do to help someone younger then her. So the next day she volunteered in the 2 year old room at her school and helped them do their work. Now she wants to help them everyday! But to me it's very important that we teach our kids about helping others.

Nay helping me pick up the leaves...


Anonymous said...

Great post, im glad you have not neglected the children as they are a vital portion of our lives... "until death". Another thing that is very important is that we set examples and paint a picture of what a healthy marriage looks like. Especially for a girl, since she will be the one that will pose the most challenge with disconnection to the family and connecting with her husband. Its very important that we show them how a woman is to be treated and how a woman is to treat her husband. Its very east to get into confrontation with the child percent but this is going to take discipline.


shonsteez said...

Just discovered your blog...
Really insightful post man and a great perspective on life.

Kil said...

What's good Shonsteez?!?!?! Good looking for coming through and checking it out fam! I appreciate it fam! For real!

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