The ABC of Parenting

Things change when you become a parent; and things that were familiar before suddenly take on new meaning. One of those all-too-familiar things is the Alphabet Song that we all grew up learning, and that our little children are now learning. But when you hit parenthood, the alphabet we grew up with takes on new meaning as well. Suddenly the ABC no longer resonates with an Apple, Ball, and Cat. Because suddenly, life became a whole lot more interesting, and so did our Alphabet Song.

Here is my version of the ABC as a parent:

 – A is for Authority! You’re the parent: let them know who is in charge.

 – B is for Balance. Finding and maintaining it is a challenge – the scales between work and play don’t always even out. It’s okay to juggle different priorities on different days; just don’t completely ignore one in favour of another.
 – C is for Curiosity. Embrace it; feed it; find outlets for it to blossom.
 – D is for Dad. Because they’re important too. 💙
 – E is for Encouragement. Offering constructive feedback and fostering a positive mindset goes a long way in developing a confident child.
 – F is for Faith. Never lose it.
 – G is for Generosity. Make it part of your family identity.
 – H is for Hugs. Give it freely and often – you’ll find sometimes you need it more than your little ones do.
 – I is for Imagination. Sometimes you just gotta let it run wild.
 – J is for Jealousy. If you’ve got more than one child, be prepared for random displays of this emotion. Letting them sit on your lap together usually calms the outbursts.
 – K is for Kisses. They’re like magic! They heal ouches and boo boos in no time.
 – L is for Listen. It’s important for them to know you care enough to lend an ear.
 – M is for Mischief. They will get up to it.
 – N is for No. A simple word that can be surprisingly difficult to say, but a powerful tool in setting boundaries.
 – O is for Ouches. Some are the real deal and some are attention seeking, but those magic kisses do the trick for both.
 – P is for Patience. You’ll need it in abundance.
 – Q is for Quality time. Don’t underestimate its importance, for the entire family unit.
 – R is for Respect. Teach them how to show it to others by showing it to them.
 – S is for Support. Find it; make use of it; appreciate it! It comes in many forms and is invaluable.
 – T is for Tantrums. Be warned, you will experience them, and most likely at the most inopportune times.
 – U is for Understanding. Understand that they’re only children and need plenty of love, support and guidance.
 – V is for Vocabulary. Kids are like sponges, so don’t be afraid to expose them to an array of words and languages.
 – W is for Wisdom. Leverage it from others. No matter how much you know, or think you know, there’s always something to be learnt from someone else’s experiences.
 – X is for Xenophobia. It’s simple really – teach children tolerance. There is beauty in a rainbow nation.
 – Z is for Zeal. Live life with it.

    So, it’s a much more loaded version that the traditional A is for Apple, but that is what happens when parenthood strikes – a more loaded life! So while I have my ABC, and you have yours, let your children have theirs as well. To the point of I is for Imagination, give the little ones some freedom in defining their ABC, because why should A be for Apple when it can be for Astronaut!

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