Tag Archives: Mom

7 Proven Parenting Tips

7 proven Parenting Tips

7 proven Parenting Tips

The toughest job… takes courage and strength

The most rewarding job… full of joy and sorrow

On-the-job training… once you think you have it figured out; things change

No instruction manuals… never know what to do

What is your goal as a parent?

Mine is, and always has been, to raise independent, responsible, young men.

I love being a mother. I would have been content living the life of June Cleaver, but I was blessed with the life of Christi Weems; mom of Garrett and Austin Weems. Garrett is the child who always challenged me and felt as though rules were to be broken. Did I mention Garrett is a ginger? Austin is my obedient child who speaks very little, but when he does, he speaks with wisdom and humor.  We have had our peaks and valleys and I have made plenty of bad decisions. I felt as though I should share some methods that have been proven to effective over the years.

  • Allow them to be who they are; not who you want them to be.

The hardest lesson that must be learned as a parent. This one took me years to figure out and caused a lot of heartache in our home. All I ever wanted to be was “football mom” and I was granted the experience for one high school season. Football was not the boys’ passion; it was mine. I had to let it go and let them be themselves. Garrett found his passion with electronics and graphic design. He began his graphic design career at the age of sixteen and opened his own company at seventeen. Austin is a freshman in high school and has yet to find his passion. Recently, he built his own gaming computer. It may be safe to say that gaming is in his future.

  • Live by example.

I cannot expect the boys to do something that I wouldn’t do myself.  I have always worked hard, treated people kindly, and lived with integrity which is exactly what I expect from them. I am raising boys to be men without a male role model. It is important to me for them to have good manners. I will stop at a door and wait for them to open it for me. I explain to them that a woman wants to date a gentleman and gentlemen have manners.

  • Use your words to build them up; not tear them down.

The world is tough enough on children without parents breaking them down at home. Each day, I tell the boys, “You are a champion. I am proud of you. Make good choices.” I place inspirational notes in their lunches periodically. My heart crushes when I hear a parent call their child, “stupid” even if they’re only joking. Those words linger in your child’s head and heart for years.

  • Be hard on them.

The price they pay as children and teenagers is much less than what they’ll pay as adults in society. Any time I received calls from teachers or administrators my response was always, “Be harder on my child than you would be any others.” When Garrett was making bad choices in high school, the assistant principal worked with me to create harsh consequences for his actions. After he suffered the consequences, he straightened up and I did not have any more problems. When they were toddlers, I carried a wooden spoon in my purse; I was never afraid to use it. As they got older, I learned a special pinch on their arm did the trick. Spanking your children may be against your beliefs, but I know it worked for mine.

  • Allow them to fail.

This is heartbreaking to watch, but it is necessary to happen. Garrett did not have a good relationship with one of his Spanish teachers. Garrett has never understood the concept of respecting your elders. In his eyes, you had to earn his respect despite your age. He did not respect her for reasons unknown. After multiple emails, phone calls, and conferences, I realized this was a life lesson for Garrett.  It was tough for me to see him fail, as a teacher, I cringed. I hate seeing students who are fully capable not succeed solely because they are not willing to work. I emailed the teacher the following, “Garrett is a young adult and has to learn from his actions.  I cannot sweep in and do this for him. He has to face the consequences of his actions.” He failed Spanish and had to repeat it the following year. The learning lesson took place about a year later. The first semester he was out of a school an hour early each day, but the second semester he had to stay the extra hour each day to retake Spanish.

  • Give them responsibilities.

We divide all the chores in the house by three and we each do our own part. I cannot do it all on my own and they have to understand what it takes to manage a household. If one of us doesn’t do our part, the house cannot function smoothly. They each do their own laundry. I’m not saying they always do things perfectly or the way I would do it, however,  if I don’t allow them to do things, the will not learn. It’s okay if the towels aren’t folded perfect. I allow them to cook, but I probably should be teaching them cooking skills more regularly. Culinary techniques are not my specialty; therefore, this is an area we could all use some improvement. I also sit down with them to discuss the monthly budget. Often times, they would rewash a load of laundry instead of folding the clothes and putting them away (which infuriated me.) After we discussed the electricity and water bill, this routine concluded.

  • Love Unconditionally.

Love unconditionally is affection without any conditions. Do your children know you love them without any conditions?   Your children must know they are loved despite their behaviors. We create their safe haven by the love we provide.

Raising boys to be men without a man around has been a tough, but rewarding journey.  I am proud of the men my boys have become. Parenting is my favorite job and I have made my share of mistakes. Punishing your children and telling them no may be painful at the moment, but prevents future pain.  My boys are not perfect and they are still learning but they make my life complete. I hope this encourages you to speak words of encouragement to your children today! Believe in yourself because you are doing a great job!!

Gusher Half Marathon

Gusher Half Marathon

Gusher Half Marathon

Gusher Half Marathon

Gusher Half Marathon in Beaumont, Texas was race number 9 in my goal of 40 and on my 40th birthday!! It was a great trip and race!! On Friday, March 7, Mom and I left for Beaumont after school and arrived  at the hotel about midnight after picking up the rental car, Lisa, and Cortney.

Gusher Half Marathon  starting line was on the campus of Lamar University.  We arrived early to pick up our packets and prepare for the race.  I love the energy that surrounds the race and today was no different.  The energy was high, the runners were excited, and the weather was perfect. The National Anthem was sung beautifully and a minister led the prayer.  It was the perfect runner’s prayer.  The minister understood runners with his prayer of time and personal records. The countdown began and we were off.  I had my first mile in 9:30 and came around to see Mom on the bridge taking pictures. At mile 2, I had to stop at “Johnnie on the spot” for a potty break which scared me. Anytime a runner has to stop for the bathroom, there is a fear of the time lost or the alternative… UGH! The great part about this race was several “Johnnie on the spots” and no long lines along course.  Miles 9 and 10 seemed to be filled with hills and a head wind to push through. At mile 10, my music stopped and while turning it back on, I saw an encouraging message from a friend telling me, “happy birthday and that International Women’s Day is perfect as a day to celebrate me.”  I continued the race feeling great and pushed through to have a PR for the year with an 18 minute improvement over the last race. The volunteers were amazing with plenty of water stations throughout the race.  There were ’80s and Hawaiian themed water stations and one with singing volunteers. The technical shirt and medal were great too! When I came across the finish line, mom and Cortney were waiting for me.  Mom caught it on video and the announcer mentioned my goal of 40  half marathons this year and that it was my birthday! Mom enjoyed the race environment and was entertained with watching people cross the finish line.

Gusher Half Marathon

After the race, we visited the vendors and had a beer before heading back to the hotel. When we arrived at the hotel, we decided we were hungry and we were going to go to a fast food place real quick.  We are in our sweaty clothes and mom was in her pajamas.  We end up at Floyd’s for great seafood looking quite shady.  The waiter was great even though he only knew Cortney existed at the table.  He brought me the best bread pudding ever, called the restaurant’s attention to sing “Happy Birthday” to me.  We went back to the hotel to rest before cleaning up and going to the hotel across the street’s restaurant bar. We met a man named Marcus from Germany who was with Elton John.  The bartender and other guests made my birthday special! We skipped back to our hotel as a conclusion to an ideal day! I feel so loved and appreciate mom, Lisa, and Cortney for a great birthday! Gusher Half Marathon was a great race and the people of Beaumont did a fabulous job.

 

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Lake Benbrook Half Marathon #4 of 40 in 2014

Lake Benbrook Half Marathon #4 of 40 in 2014 20140125-171239.jpg

My life has turned into a consistent series of “Ideal days” and I am blessed beyond belief.  I wake up each day feeling each day is magical and I know this feeling has been a process of a lot of things over the last few years.  I woke up this morning ready to run. It was a cold start to the day, but has turned out to be a beautiful day.  I dressed for Lake Benbrook Half Marathon #4 of 40 in 2014 and started on my way.  The drive was good and parking was easy. I picked up my bib and race shirt, put it in the car, and headed to the start line. The pre-race feeling is indescribably as like minded people line up at the starting line eager to run.  The race director tells the runners, “go,” but the crowd does not rush out like you would imagine.  It is a slow gradually movement and runners take their place along the course according to their comfortable pace.  Lake Benbrook Half Marathon #4 of 40 in 2014 was along Lake Benbrook and through a park which means traffic was not an issues and you were surrounded by nature; lake on the left and open fields on the right.  It was a beautiful, hilly course… did I mention HILLS???

At mile two I was moved as I by tears when I saw a mom, dad, and 8 year old boy running together.  I heard the mom tell the son, “mile 2” as dad told him, “equivalent to a trip around the block.”  As a runner, mom, and teacher, I knew the lesson they were teaching this boy was beyond running a half marathon. (Picture below is Ben, Jen, and Pete crossing the finish line.) Ben wanted a medal which meant he had to run a longer race than a 5K.  He trained with his mom and dad for Lake Benbrook Half Marathon #4 of 40 in 2014 and he earned his first finisher’s medal.  Ben has learned how to set a goal, train, and win it! He was an inspiration to me! I don’t think he realized what an incredible accomplishment he was completed.  I admire Jen and Pete to for teaching him to strive for excellence and accompanying him with his goal.

Jen has run ultras, fulls, and competed in triathlons.  She ran along me for several miles pushing me to do my best as we chatted along the way.  She is a Physical Therapy student at the University of North Texas and a mom of two boys.  I ran my best half marathon this year and she taught me about heart rate training to help me lose these unwanted pounds.  I am so blessed by the people God places in my pathway.

On the way home, I stopped for cupcakes. Yes, I run for cupcakes.  I had lunch with Garrett, napped, and now preparing to celebrate one of my greatest friend’s birthday.  In my life, today is another ideal day.

What does an ideal day look like for you?

 

Lake Benbrook Half Marathon #4 of 40 in 2014

Lake Benbrook Half Marathon #4 of 40 in 2014