[This is part two of last monthâ€™s post “7 lessons on Parenting from our Husky” To see the first post, visit here]
Olaf the dog is up to it again - teaching some new tricks! Â Here is 4 - 7!
4. Make time
We are all busy. Our children go to school, my husband has his own business, and Iâ€™m involved in writing, teaching music, volunteering, and raising our family.
- Olaf will not understand that we love him if we never spend time with him.
- Olaf will not learn boundaries if we donâ€™t make time to teach him.
- Olaf will not learn new skills and expectations if we donâ€™t make time to train him.
Life is busy, but we need to make time for our children. We only have a few years to spend with them, teaching them what they need to know to live productive, rewarding lives.
- Parents need to spend time making memories
- Parents need to be available to discuss the dayâ€™s events
- Parents need to just be with them building strong relationships with them.
We now have four teenagers in our house. Some days are challenging, but because we have strong relationships, so far we have been able to get through the tough days and celebrate together.
5. Have Fun
Olaf makes us laugh.
- He digs holes and sits in them. They are only big enough for his back legs. Iâ€™m not sure why he does this, but it does put a smile on our faces.
- Olaf also likes to chase his tail â€“ round, and round, until he canâ€™t stand up any more. If we didnâ€™t spend time with him, we would miss his antics and the humor they add to our days.
Our children make us laugh too.
- We have a rope hammock swing suspended from the ceiling in our living room. Our children spend hours in there. Their favorite activity is twisting the hammock round and round and then allowing the swing to unwind as fast as possible, making them dizzy.
- Our children also enjoy driving our golf cart around, sometimes going faster than they should.
Fun times build memories and relationship. Having fun together allows families to bond. I try to capture those memories in picture form. We like to sit and reminisce together; looking at pictures and talking about things we did together.
6. Foster curiosity
Olaf likes to go for walks and explore his environment. He is in no rush to go anywhere in particular. Investigating takes time! In todayâ€™s world itâ€™s too easy to schedule all of our childrenâ€™s time. I believe we need to leave open spaces in our calendars â€“ time at home to just explore, play, relax, and learn.
7. Accept Personalities
Sometimes our children still miss Shadow. He was a gentle dog who was just always there. Olaf is different. Heâ€™s more energetic. He has killed cats that have invaded his territory. Just because Olaf is different doesnâ€™t mean heâ€™s not a good family dog. We have to adjust our expectations. We have to remember that heâ€™s a Husky/Malamut and there are some inherent traits that go along with his makeup. Children are the same way. Some children are easier to love than others, mostly because they are by nature more what we expect or want. The kids that are constantly getting into trouble or challenging our authority require more work on our part. However, as adults these are often the people who create new amazing things and make the world a better place.
These are some lessons Olaf has reminded me of. What would you add?
What has worked for you as a parent in the areas of demonstrating unconditional love, setting boundaries, andÂ training?
Ruth L. Snyder and her husband Kendall continue to seek Godâ€™s wisdom in raising their five children, ages 7-17. Ruth shares her adventures in writing and photography atÂ http://ruthlsnyder.com.