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Lessons from My Childhood That I’m Passing Down to My Kids

Growing up, my mom taught me a lot of things. She was gentle with me when she needed to be, scratched my back as I fell asleep each night, and got me a Band-Aid at lightning speed when I would scrape a knee.

But she was also tough sometimes. She didn’t let me get away with much, and when she said my middle name, I sure knew it was serious. I was a very opinionated and challenging child, so my mom definitely had her hands full with me. I’m so grateful for the different things I learned from my mom growing up, and I’m doing my best to teach my boys the same things as they grow up.

Here are some of the things I learned from my mom that I want my boys to know as well.

Use your manners. Even at 2 years of age, I’ve taught my boys to use their manners. Go say yes ma’am, no ma’am, please, and thank you. It takes a while for them to get the hang of it, but once they do, you will feel so accomplished as a parent. And it is great if you can get them in the swing of using their manners before they start pre-k or school.

Put your plate in the sink after dinner. Both of my boys, age 5 and age 3, always take their plates to the sink when we are finished eating meals at home. This saves me one extra step when it comes to cleaning after meals. And all of us moms can use any extra time we can get.

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Do not interrupt me when I’m talking. This one takes a while to sink in to their little brains. We are still working on it, as a matter of fact. As long as it takes, it is still worth it. It’s so frustrating when you’re having a conversation with an adult and your kids run in and speak over you. We’ve gotta nip that in the bud from the start.

Put your shoes in the same place each time you take them off. There’s nothing more frustrating than being ready to step out the door and not being able to find the second shoe to a pair. We always put our shoes on one specific shelf in the closet or on our entryway bench. This way you aren’t searching the bottom of that toy bin for a spare shoe.

Drink water! I have a few friends whose kiddos refuse to drink water. Their parents say they don’t like it. My boys have always liked water and I made it a point not to always have juice on hand when they were little. KJ doesn’t even like juice, actually. I’m so glad both my boys like water. It makes eating out easier and cheaper!

Be kind. I want my boys to know that no matter what, we must be kind to others. This takes a lot of time to really instill in your little ones. I feel like a lot of it has to do with not giving them every single thing they want — which I understand can be tough, sometimes but it’s so worth it.

Wash your hands. It’s amazing to me how dirty those adorable tiny hands can get throughout the day. My mom was adamant that we wash our hands before we ate and I’m glad it became a habit. This will help your kiddo from getting sick often.

As a teenager, I thought I knew everything and that my mom was just being bossy — but now that I’m a mom, I totally see why she and my Nana were always trying to teach me different things as I grew up. And I’m so glad I got to learn from them. I think it made me a better mom.

What did you learn from your parents that has helped you as a parent now? I’d love to hear about your hand-me-down advice!

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