Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Makings Of A Real Princess

Several years ago a friend of mine, whose little girl received countless compliments on her pretty curls and big brown eyes, actually started ‘correcting’ people when they said things like, “I bet you can get anything you want when you look at someone with those big brown eyes” or “You sure are a pretty little girl." When people said these things, my friend would smile and politely say, “Thank you, but we're really happy she’s such a good listener and helper”, or “She’s also very good girl and that’s what makes her so special.”

I’ve always admired her wisdom in doing that. I’ve also had several reasons to think about what she’s said; including one that happened just a few days ago…

My three year-old granddaughter, Laney, and four year-old niece, Alexis, were having a discussion about who was going to be the queen or princess. When Alexis said she thought she should be the queen, Laney quickly countered with, “I am the queen because I am wearing a very beautiful dress.” Laney’s line of reasoning must have made sense to Alexis, too, because there was no more discussion on the matter and they went right on playing.

The incident was completely innocent and logical as far as Laney and Alexis were concerned. After all, why wouldn’t it make sense? Belle wears yellow, Cinderella wears blue, Sleeping Beauty wears pink, Elsa wears blue, and Merida wears green. Different colors, yes, but they are all fancy and “very beautiful” dresses. But parents, let’s think about something: is that the perception you want your little girls to have when it comes to what it takes to make a princess? And do you want your little boys to think the way a little girl looks is what matters most? Or…

Would you rather your little ones know our ‘princess-ness’ comes from the inside out? Now I’m not saying little girls shouldn’t play princess or dress up like Cinderella and her cohorts (my personal favorite is Merida, if anyone cares). As a matter of fact, each and every one of these colorfully-dressed young ladies can easily and truthfully be described as beautiful on the inside as well as the outside. Belle sees beyond someone’s appearance and looks straight into their heart. Cinderella’s gentle and kind spirit is what makes her so endearing, and Merida’s determination to be recognized for her courage and her intellect take her farther than even she thought possible.

So again—there’s nothing wrong with playing dress-up, wanting to look nice, or even wearing a “very beautiful dress”. Nothing at all…as long as you never fail to impress on your children that these things are just the icing on the cake, so to speak, and that the makings of a real princess are first and foremost, love, courage, truth, kindness, and compassion.


Momma D

                               Copyright 2016 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Thankful For Each Day I Am Called Mom

If you don’t keep up with me on Facebook and Twitter, you might not know that the book, “Love, Momma D”, which is a collection of several of Momma D’s blog posts over the past few years, is due to be released the middle of December (just in time for Christmas).
I was sharing this information with a young mom I spoke to a few days ago at a book signing for one of my other books, which lead to some great conversation. She asked me a few questions about the blog and book and then asked why I chose to write about parenting. It didn’t take me more than a second or two to answer her by saying, “Because our kids deserve the very best we can give them in unconditional love and I want every parent to know that.”
As I was saying those words, my mind immediately went to the post I wrote a couple of years ago called “It’s A Great Day To Be Alive”. I won’t retell the entire story, but in celebration of Thanksgiving, I'll sum it up in just a few sentences by saying:
·         Four year-old Emma was singing Travis Tritt’s It’s a Great Day to be Alive at the top of her lungs…and believed in her heart it truly was.

·         As I listened to her I was thankful she felt that way and hoped and prayed she and my other three children would always know that every day is a great day to be alive when you have the love of God, family, and friends to count on.

·         As parents we need to make sure that our children know that every day is a great day to be alive because of the fact that they are unique and cherished.
We also need to remind ourselves each and every day of how thankful we should be for the blessing of being called Mom and Dad because it’s the absolute best gig there is.

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours,

Momma D

                           Copyright 2016 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

How NOT To Raise Your Kids

I recently read an article that focused on what parents are doing wrong these days when it comes to raising their children. It was well-written and spot-on and I want expound on one of the seven reasons they listed as being the reason children are turning out to be brats (their word, but an accurate one). Reason: Quit bending over backwards trying to make your kids happy. Instead, teach your children that happiness is a state of mind.

Quit apologizing for telling your kids ‘no’ (if you even dare to say it at all). Children need to be told no. They don’t need to get their way all the time. They don’t need to get everything they want. They need to know that ‘no’ is word that makes them more compassionate, kinder, safer, humble, and nicer.

Quit instantly satisfying their every whim and want. They don’t need to be pacified at all cost while waiting in line. They need to learn to wait patiently. They don’t need to expect you to whip through the drive-thru every time they mutter that they are thirsty. They won’t dehydrate. Unless it is an actual emergency, finish what you are doing before retrieving a toy, getting their snack, tying their shoe, etc.. They need to learn to wait their turn.

Quit promising treats in exchange for desired behavior. They need to know good behavior is expected—not something you earn from them if you pay up.

Apologizing for discipline, pacifying their want (NOT their need) for instant gratification, and placing conditions on their behavior are all sure-fire ways to turn a perfectly wonderful little person into a little person who is selfish, spoiled, entitled, lacking in compassion, and feeling incredibly insecure. That’s right—insecure. Children raised in this type of environment will never feel respected or accepted by people who don’t bend over backwards to make them happy (which is everyone other than their parents) and will be severely lacking in knowing how to have a real and sincere relationship.

If you think that sounds too harsh, you’ll get no apologies here. What I am sorry for, though, are all the kids out there who don’t know that “No means no” because it’s a lesson they need to know in order to be able to navigate life successfully.

Momma D
                        Copyright 2016 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.