Goals for my soon-to-be 8 year old twins - Family Love In My City

Goals for my soon-to-be 8 year old twins

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

When I think that I hold the key to mostly all of my children's childhood experiences, it gets a little overwhelming.

I mean, no pressure. But it's true.

As a parent, you have a lot of influence.

The opportunities we expose them to, the school we send them to, the friends and family that we surround them with all play a part in their foundation and what they experience in their preadolescence. 

I always wonder what they will remember. What skills will they carry with them into adolescence and adulthood? What moment will be inspiring or life changing for them? 

It's hard to tell. But, when I explore the childhood of my husband and I, there are a few things that I am glad that we experienced and carried with us into adulthood.

My twins will turn 8 years old soon, and these are my goals for them and what I think is important for them to experience around this age:

1. Participate in team sports. Sports taught my husband discipline. As a boy who played Pop Warner Football, he learned plays, respected his coaches, did good in school and worked as a team. It was a foundation for him to play team sports in the future and it developed into his professional career as a coach.

2. Learn to ride a bike without training wheels. Having just taught them over the holidays, I have to say that it was one of the most rewarding feelings. Not just for me, but for them. The kids have to have trust in you, you have to stay positive, and you both cannot give up. It was a perfect moment for them to feel the rewards of perseverance and believing in themselves!

I have so many memories of riding bikes around the neighborhood with friends and taking our bikes as a family to the parks, I want them to have the same love and always remember that smell of fresh air.

3. Learn how to swim. Not only is this important for their safety, it gives them a bit of fearlessness and freedom. But with those come responsibility, just like Spider-Man says! When they get older they are going to want to go to water parks and pool parties on their own, and I want to trust in their strength as a swimmer. So, I will so my part in teaching them early.

Also, growing up, we would go swimming at community pools often and I think it helps us stay connected. We recently took lessons at the Davis-Scott YMCA in their indoor pool. A great option, so you can participate year-round if you want to!

4. Volunteer. In San Antonio, we have two amazing organizations that would feed thousands during the holiday season at the downtown Convention Center. This is my first memory of volunteering as a child. I fixed tables with place mats and handed out drinks. I remember feeling proud and happy to help. 

In the past year, we have volunteered as a family with San Antonio Parks & Rec at their family days and at the H-E-B Feast of Sharing. It is sometimes hard to find volunteer opportunities for young children, so I'm compiling a list to help with that.

5. Write a letter. Thank you letters are not often the norm these days, when you can just shout out to everyone on Facebook. Birthday parties are so big sometimes, that it's a task that almost gets overlooked. But with our digital world, not only does it teach manners, it really is a respectful and thoughtful gesture to handwritten a note to someone. They are now at an age where they just don't have to sign their name on a card I wrote. So this year, I am going to encourage them to write their own thank you cards!

6. Have conversations. Going along with the card writing, I want them to know how to make phone calls and enjoy speaking with their family members. And to make it more fun, we'll FaceTime when possible!

7. Put a LEGO kit together on their own. I mean, c'mon. How many times have you sat and put together those LEGO kits on your own? Or you start helping and end up building Cragger's entire Command Ship? I think now is the time they start and complete these projects on their own, in my house, at least. :)

8. Know their way around the kitchen. Lastly, I want them to be able to make their own breakfast or make a sandwich. Not whip up some chorizo con huevo, but I want them to know how to get a bowl, pour themselves some cereal or serve some yogurt and fruit and even toast some bread. Now that takes some walk through on my part and showing them how to safely get bowls and glasses from the cabinets, but I will gladly make it happen.

And that is my 8 for 8! I'm clearly no expert on raising children, the twins are my first. It's just our start on building responsibility and giving them good lessons to carry forward. 

Any more goals to add on? Advice?

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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