Friday, December 30, 2011

Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Rude, Impolite Bullies.

I often chose to use my blog as a place to preserve joy and memories to always have to look back on and for my girls to cherish as they grow older.  I like to use Haus of Girls as a place to encourage, enlighten and give hope to other moms that are busy, multi-tasking and, at times, overwhelmed,  just like myself.

But today I feel the need to write about a few things that have been weighing heavy on my heart as I often find myself looking around at the next generation of children with great sadness.  

I want to reach out to other moms and encourage them to be the best they can be.
To not give up and throw in the towel just because this is what society is telling you to do.

Everywhere I look, parents seem to be filling their children with things, PRESENTS.
However, what your children need is your PRESENCE.  For you to be there. 
For you to WANT to be there.

Everyday I see the lack of PRESENCE in so many kids’ lives that is leaves me speechless.
Therefor, I type.

I type to any and all who will read and make a change to be a better parent. 
Our future needs you to step up to the plate and raise kind, loving members of society who FEEL LOVED.
Not self-centered children who are desperate for attention and love seeking it in all the wrong places, pushing others down to get ahead in life, struggling to discover who they are by bullying and being cruel.

If more parents took the time to invest in their children’s lives and spirit, rather than investing in their wardrobe, fancy cars or image, I would have hope for our future.  But unfortunately, that is all I see around me.   Sad, overwhelmed, unfulfilled adults unable to emotionally fulfill their duties as a parent.  Leaving their sweet children in the dust. 

Remember the song, “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys?”
I feel like my message, if it were a song, would be “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Rude, Impolite Bullies.”

Our future depends on all you moms and dads.
Invest in raising your children to be good, kind and loving human beings.

A fun thing that I did to bring back old school politeness earlier this summer was a politeness marble jar.
Every time I hear one of my girls being polite, especially saying “yes ma’am” rather than the awful, “yea” or “uh-huh” I give them a marble in their special jar.  Once it’s filled they get to pick out a prize.
They love when I catch them being polite and the sound of the marble dropping into the glass jar.
It reinforces positive behavior in a fun way rather than always harping on their bad behavior.

marble jar

It has worked really well for our family.  One day this past fall, a teacher that works at my big girls’ school ran into my Mom at the salon.  When she found out that Sophie was her granddaughter, she referred to her as the “most polite little girl in the school.” 

dad and girls eureka days

This made me so proud.
Proud of the way my girls represent our family and what we stand for.
Proud that they choose to make good choices, even in a world that makes it so easy not to do so.
Proud that Steve and I have made it our first priority to instill behaviors in our children that effect everyone around them in a positive uplifting way.

Since I spend my days surrounded by children, I know how wonderful it feels when a child is respectful, polite and kind to me, as well as their friends.  When I hand them something and hear the sweetest, “thank you, Marta!” it makes my day.

Today, I am challenging you to bring back the basics in life that are meaningful and reintroduce them to your children and home.  For example, teaching your children the importance of treating adults with kindness and respect, not being rude and playing on your phone during a family get together,  writing thank you notes,  showing people love rather than an attitude, saying please and thank you and overall being happy for others.

Where have these things gone? 

I like to dream about growing up in the 1950’s when life was simpler. 
Like in “Back to the Future.” Best movie ever. 
Life was not about things.
People cared about others, not just themselves…except Biff. 
Mamas raised their children to be respectful, thoughtful and kind, not self-centered and superficial only caring about the latest and greatest iPhone.  Barf.

Stop and think about who you want your children to become rather than what makes your life easier in the moment.  Raising loving and kind children is not easy, but it’s worth the extra effort in the end when you look back at your life when you’re 85 years old sitting in a rocking chair.

Sure handing them a video game or phone keeps them entertained and makes your life less stressful for the moment.  But will it truly create happy and whole human beings?

In the end you will ask yourself “Did I give my children enough love and encouragement and the tools needed to be good people? To be a good friend not a bully? To be an encourager not a spirit breaker?”

I’ve worked with children for five years in my home and have had my own children for almost eight years.
What I have noticed over the years is heartbreaking.
Broken spirits, sad and snippy children who aren’t respectful to their parents or adults, unhappiness that leads to putting down other children. 
I’ve seen this all first hand.  With my own eyes.  When I see a “friend” of my daughter’s put them down for liking something that they don’t like anymore because “it’s for babies”,  or arguing about something they know nothing about because they are just crabby and sad, it breaks my heart for our future and for my daughters.  I want them to surround themselves with positive happy loving friends.  But I often wonder, are there any of these left for them?

Luckily I had three of them, my sisters, and needed not to search far. 
I am so thankful my girls have each other.  But, maybe this can be a wake up call to all the parents to make a change.  It’s NEVER to late to start. 
Politeness boot camp, talking with them about the true meaning of living a life filled with happiness and being a GOOD FRIEND. 

I say this everyday to my girls as they leave me, BE A GOOD FRIEND.

I am creating a challenge to encourage more parents to do the same.
Let’s do all WE can to stop bullying and hurtful behavior and words. 
Take it upon yourself to be a better role model and encourager of the kind of behavior you should expect from your children.  Don’t let them get lost in the shuffle. 

Too many children are being hurt with words these days.
Smashing spirits has become a new hobby.  It was not like this when I was growing up. 
Let’s change this bullying, sassy, impolite epidemic.  It starts with you.

Challenge 2012

So please won’t you join me?

What are a few things you could change in your home to encourage better behavior from your children?
Maybe it’s as simple as opening the lines of communication about how important it is to treat people kindly?
Or that words and negative comments are just as hurtful as physically hitting someone.

Link up your posts on this and let’s make a difference in 2012.


Katie said...

This is such a great reminder. Some day when I have kids, this will be my goal as well. For now, it's my goal in my classroom.

Katie said...

This is such a great reminder. Someday when I have kids, this will be my goal as well. For now, it's my goal in my classroom.

Lauren Peters Blog said...

rude and sassy-pants kids are the worst, and like you said - they are everywhere!

my hubby and I don't have any little ones yet - but plan to soon. this is such a good reminder that we need to teach them how to be kind and respectful. you can never start too early!

thanks for some great ideas!!

Julie said...

I love that politeness marble jar. That's a great idea! I got you off some random blog I stumbled upon so hope you don't mind I stopped by. Come to find out we have a lot in common as I went through school with your twin sisters. Small world!

forever folding laundry said...

I love the politeness jar!
It always swells my heart with pride
when someone tells me how polite my kids are.

Politeness boot camp. YES!!!


krisalt said...

Thank you for this Marta! I love your blog and couldn't agree with you more. One of the greatest complements I have ever received is being told how polite and respectful my 13 year old son is from a middle school teacher (from another school district). He said he deals with 13 year old boys every day and my son is certainly the exception and that I should be very, very proud.

Wendy said...

Great idea! I love when my daughter remembers her manners and think that they fall in line with the golden rule so well. We are struggling with the yea's so I think the marble jar will be perfect!

Stephanie said...

What a fantastic post - and I LOVE the polite jar idea! I don't have any children now, but as a bystander, it makes SUCH a difference when you meet a little one who is kind polite, etc. So (sadly) rare these days!

Tanya said...

Love this Marta.
I love your happy posts, but this is near and dear to my heart and I feel ya on this big time!
I've gotten feedback from peeps a few times on how polite my kiddos are and it makes me very happy ~ because I always think I could be doing more...
One thing I know for sure is this...I, like you, have chosen against some difficult odds, to be at home with my babies and it is hard, tiring work. But I will NEVER be sorry.
Politeness is cool. The end.

Heather @ Glitter and Gloss said...

Great post, Marta! I love the idea of a politeness jar. Ever since my girls were infants I've been trying to teach manners. They always say their pleases and thank you's, (which Tony totally laughed at when I was saying please and thank you to our babies) but now at almost five, and 22 months they have better manners than most adults I've met, which is truly sad. Don't get me wrong, they are totally spoiled with stuff (presents!) but they also get all of our time and devotion, and know what is important.

Love you, friend!


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