By Jennifer Maggio, Crosswalk.com
1. Have fun with your kids. Get crazy. Relax. Giggle. Dance. Sing karaoke. Enjoy time together. If you are such a rigid, unyielding, disciplinarian, your kids probably hate to see you coming! Enjoy your kiddos.
2. Mean what you say. Don't be fickle. Kids crave stability. Give it to them. If they know you can be easily manipulated into changing your mind, they will definitely pursue it!
3. Have expectations for your children. Even toddlers can put away toys. Teens can clean their rooms, vacuum, take out the trash, etc. Chores are only part of your expectations. Line out what you expect from them in their academics. Push them to achieve their very best -- whatever that may be. Challenge them. Stretch them.
4. Hug them. This is such an easy one when we have precious toddlers. They are cute and cuddly. But what about when our toddlers turn into sassy-mouthed teens? How often do we hug them? How often do we tell them that we love them, that we're proud of them? Your kids need no less "atta boys" when they become pre-teens and teens. They need words of affirmation.
5. Write them letters. Whether you choose to give them to your kids now or simply store them for later in life, document their growing pains, accomplishments, and your thoughts. My kids have thoroughly enjoyed going back and reading some of my thoughts about their early years. It tells them you care enough to take the time to do it. Sometimes, it is just easier to write those special thoughts on paper.
Jennifer Maggio is an award-winning author and speaker, whose personal journey through homelessness, abuse, and multiple teen pregnancies is leaving audiences around the globe riveted. At 19, Maggio was pregnant for the fourth time, living in government housing on food stamps and welfare. She shares with great openness, her pain, mistakes, and journey to find hope in Christ. She ultimately became an 11-time Circle of Excellence winner in Corporate America. While a vocal advocate for abstinence, and sustaining today's marriages, Maggio recognizes that single parenthood exists and is passionate about seeing these parents thrive. She left her corporate successes behind to launch a global initiative to see single moms living a life of total freedom from financial failures, parenting woes, and emotional issues. Her passion is contagious, and her story has been used to inspire thousands around the globe. Today, Jennifer works to ensure that no single mom walks alone as the founder of the national profit, The Life of a Single Mom. For more information and resources, visit the website HERE.