- We make God the priority in our family. From experience, this is the key to everything. Ryan and I have tried to raise Caleb without relying on God and that idea failed miserably. When we turned our lives over to God and allowed Him to guide us, wonderful things began happening for our family. God strengthened our marriage and brought us closer together and gave us a better understanding of how to parent our child.
- Ryan and I both believe strongly in raising children in an active church. We have been very blessed to find a church home for our family and Caleb loves it there. We really wanted a church close to us, one that worked with our schedule (they have an early Sunday morning service for those that work on Sundays), and one that has a great children's ministry.
- Make home life stable for your child. When two parents are happy and in love, the child benefits greatly! If you and your spouse are not close and simply exist to raise children, you really aren't benefitting the kids that much. If you're fighting or there is tension in the home, kids will pick up on that! A healthy, happy marriage gives children an example and encourages them to grow into healthy, happy adults with great relationships!
- Everything is not always picture perfect or blog worthy. Life is going to have ups and downs....it's all about how you as a parent handle it. There is a lesson to be learned in all parts of life and kids need to understand that life isn't always fair, happy, and easy.
- Be willing to change! This is the most difficult thing I learned. I like a schedule and I like things done a certain way. With a child, you can pretty much throw both of those things out the window. Laugh it off and carry on!
- Carry an extra change of clothes in each car...along with two extra diapers and wipes. You never know when you'll forget that dang diaper bag! (This is also a way to help you be more flexible!)
- Give children many experiences and opportunites to do things early on. They learn so much and can take so much away with each thing they do.
- Get them around other kids! They learn so many social skills from others!
I hope something gave you a little to think about! What works for you guys?