Congrats to Beyoncé and Jay Z! The couple announced this afternoon via Instagram that they're expecting twins: "We would like to share our love and happiness. We have been blessed two times over. We are incredibly grateful that our family will be growing by two, and we thank you for your well wishes." We'd like to extend our well-wishes, along with some of our favorite parenting advice from our contributors. Here's to a happy, healthy pregnancy for Bey, and every mom-to-be!
What kind of parent do you want to be? What kind of environment do you think is best to help kids thrive? What kind of family life do you want to create? How do you want your home to feel? Once you figured out what's most important, go out and live those values in your daily life. If it helps to write them down and hang them on the fridge, do it!
We live in a society where overachieving and perfection are highly valued. But perfection doesn't exist and isn't something to strive for. In order for kids to develop a positive body image, it's essential that they learn to appreciate their whole body. Less focus should be on the outside and more focus should be on developing them as a whole person and what lies beneath the surface. The greatest compliment a parent can get is that they are kind and considerate of others. This has nothing to do with their size, shape, or weight. These are just a few of the messages that we need to deliver to our kids to help them develop a healthy relationship with food and their bodies. By building their self-esteem, you're helping them develop a positive self-image—and there is no greater gift than seeing your child flourish.
If you want kids to care about the environment, bring them outside. The more kids are immersed in the natural world, the more they will care about preserving it. The sky, trees, critters, and other flora and fauna not only engage a child's sense of wonder and curiosity but also provide an opportunity for conversation and exploration. The tactile and visceral experiences of digging in the dirt or climbing a tree gives kids a more meaningful connection to the world around them than reading or discussion alone. You can tell someone what they should do, but if they feel, see, smell, hear, and touch what's around them, it will make more of an impact and create a greater sense of responsibility to take care of their planet
Take time out, and eat dinner together. Not only is it a fantastic way to get in a little bit of family time, you are also modeling good eating habits. Eat the same things that you prepared for them! You can add some more grown-up flavor such as garlic or cayenne to your own plate. When kids grow up, they end up eating the same way their parents always ate. Eat well for your sake and theirs! Remember, the kids are always observing you and what you do. Here’s an opportunity to set them up to have healthy eating habits for life. And, if the meals look good, taste good, and your family is enjoying the experience, you'll all be healthier, happier and looking forward to your next meal together.
If you disparage the terse barista behind the coffee counter, your children will focus on her shortcomings. If you try to explain her rudeness, your children will instead focus on the possible reasons that people act the way they do. Emphasizing how we are similar, instead of pinpointing the more obvious differences, will boost your children’s understanding of others, improve their conflict-resolution skills, and make space for kindness in difficult situations.