How I Raise My Kids to be Well-Behaved

 
 
 
This post is in partnership with fairlife ultra-filtered milk and all opinions are my own. 

 

 

One comment I get the most about my children is how well-behaved and sweet they are. Whether it be their teachers, their friends’ moms, or my friends, they ask me all the time how I raise them to be so well-behaved! My reply to them is always is that they were born this way! Heaven knew I’d be the worst mom in the world otherwise because I am not a patient enough person. So for the children’s sakes, I was given naturally well-behaved and sweet kids.

Of course my kids are not always well behaved and they bicker and argue here and there, and one constant thing they fight over is who gets to drink the last bit of our fairlife ultra-filtered milk. Every single bottle, every single time, guys! It’s more of a playful fight but then sometimes they get serious and say things like, “No, that’s not fair! You got to drink the last bit last time so it’s my turn!”

While they fight over the last cup of fairlife milk because it just tastes really good and they prefer the taste over any other milk, plain and simple, I prefer to give them fairlife milk because of all the nutritional value it offers. You can compare it to other milks for yourself here but while some brands of coconut milk and almond milk offers 0-1g of protein per 8 oz., fairlife offers 13 g. of protein. Compared to the regular 2% milk we used to drink, fairlife has 50% less sugar, 50% more protein and 30% more calcium. Compared to soy milk, fairlife has almost double the protein and 30% less calories per serving!

This is why I feel really good feeding my kids fairlife milk. It’s also lactose-free so my mom and my husband can drink it without having to go to the bathroom 30 mins. later. Too much info?

And how do I settle my children’s last bit of milk debate? I let my kids debate and handle it on their own and they usually come to a peaceful conclusion all on their own. They really are good kids and I am a very lucky mama to have them in my life. Heaven knew I’d be the worst mom in the world, because otherwise I am not a patient enough person. So for the children’s sake, I was given naturally well-behaved and sweet kids.

 

But no one is ever satisfied with that answer, which I wholeheartedly believe to be true. So they nudge and keep asking if there are specific things I do or ways I discipline them so I thought a blog post might be helpful on ways I raise my children. I don’t know if these will work for other parents but this is the way I raise mine and maybe you’ll find it helpful.

 

 

How I Raise My Kids to be Well-Behaved

 

  1. I try to lead by example foremost instead of by lecturing or nagging. I don’t wail my arms around and scream in the middle of a grocery aisle if my kids tell me no or bite them when I get mad. But seriously, I was once told that the biggest influence on how our kids will turn out, is who we are as parents, not what kind of school they go to, what kind of music they listened to in our womb, what extra-curricular activities we have them do. Because actions speak louder than words. I am so far from perfect and I have so much to work on but I constantly try to strive to improve myself and be better. I am quick to apologize and explain to them why I yelled at them or did things I wasn’t proud of, and what I learned from it and why I regret it, but how I will do better from then on. I believe it’s very important for our kids to see that we are imperfect, flawed human beings and seeing us not as “adults who have got it figured out and got it all together” but instead seeing us as “human beings” whom are navigating this world and learning as we go by trial and error, just like they are.

 

  1. I try to minimize the “dominant role” I have as a parent. I believe using my title as “I am the adult, I am the parent, I set the rules in this household and you just have to obey” creates this power dynamic that is unhealthy and minimizes their individuality and self-identity and confidence. I always tell them that no matter how much I think I teach them and show them the ways, they will always shape me and teach me to be a better person, way more than I ever will to them. I try to always listen to their opinions, insights, why they think their punishment is unfair and what punishment sounds more fair to them, discuss together in setting rules, or curfews, so that they learn to voice their opinions or debate using healthy communication to stand up for themselves. There is a balance of course to this, I believe in being a parent first and their friend second and I demand respect from them and they demand the same respect but they know that I get a final say in the end, after listening and discussing with them.

 

 

  1. Kindness is always cool. Kindness is always the right choice. Of course there are times when you need to use self-defense and not be a pushover but for the not extreme circumstances, kindness is always cool, it is never outdated. I tell them to watch for those kids during recess that are playing alone, to reach out to them and be their friend so no one is alone during recess(unless they want to) or to always stand up to bullies and protect their friends and classmates.

 

  1. In order to stop our children’s behavior, we need to first understand and sympathize why they are behaving that way first. Only once they feel understood, they will stop their behavior on their own. I let my children express their emotions without shaming them or trying to quiet them. I don’t tell them to stop or tell my son that boys don’t cry or stop being a wuss, they know that they can express their emotions fully and as long as they need to, without me shaming them or judging them or trying to rush their emotional process. I acknowledge how they much feel by reiterating to them and saying, “It’s hard to leave when you are having so much fun, huh?” When they are throwing a fit because they don’t want to leave the playground. Or “I can imagine how frustrated and annoying that must be to have your little sibling always get into your stuff and sometimes break them. I’d feel frustrated and annoyed too, I am sorry.” Once they feel understood and sympathized, they calm down and snuggle me in silence, no more feeling like they need to explain or prove to me why they feel the way they do. 

 

  1. I do not let them get away with any amount of sass or attitude. I will not take it whatsoever. At the first sign of sass or attitude, I zap it and tell them to stop. That I do not tolerate any ounce of sass or attitude.

 

  1. If it’s a problem they can solve on their own, I let them solve it on their own and don’t interfere to be the middle-man(see my fairlife ultra-filtered milk example above for how my children have learned to resolve this problem on their own). It’s important for them to learn to argue or fight and learn to negotiate and make amends on their own.

 

  1. I used the 1-2-3 method(a lot when they were younger, less so now). If they misbehaved, I gave them one warning. If they do it again, I silently just raise my 2 fingers and look at them firmly in the eyes. If they do it one more time, they go sit in the corner of the room or in their room(whichever they prefer). So for example, if my child came to me and asked for a snack, I explain that they cannot have a snack since I am making dinner and we will be eating dinner in 30 mins. And I want them to fill up their tummy with nutritious food instead so they will grow healthy and strong. If they whine and ask again, I raise my hand or say “That’s one.” If they ask again, I say, “That’s two.” or raise my two fingers. If they do it again, they go in the corner. I know some people don’t believe in the time-out method and I understand why shutting them in their room all alone(especially when they are babies or toddlers) can be traumatic for them. So I had them just to in the corner of whatever room I am in so they can still see me and I am in the same space as them and they know that I am not shutting them out. This distance is so that I don’t go crazy and lose my patience but also for them to have some quiet reflection time. Before using this 1-2-3 method, you’d need to explain to your children how it works and what they can expect. And with certain things, you don’t give them 3 chances, especially as they get older, some they only get one warning or two warnings.

 

  1. Follow through. Always, always follow through. The 1-2-3 method will not work if you don’t put them in the corner or give them some other form of discipline. If you tell them, “If I count to 3 and you haven’t put your shoes on yet, you will not be able to go to your friend’s house.” And they don’t put their shoes on before you counted to 3, you have to follow through and they don’t get to play at their friend’s house. I have had my preschooler stay home from school because I told her that would be her discipline if she didn’t cooperate(which I quickly learned was more of a punishment for me since I didn’t get my free time! Never happened again!), or we turned around and went straight home when we were on our way to go get ice-cream and the kids kept fighting and bickering at each other. We gave them one warning and then they didn’t listen so we drove back home and they were devastated. But after that, they knew we meant what we said and that we weren’t joking around.

 

I hope you found my list above helpful for you.

 

Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever tried fairlife ultra-filtered milk and if you have any other tips for me on raising well behaved kids! I am always open to suggestions on parenting because once we know better, we can do better.

 

10 Reasons Why My Family Rocked 2018

 

10 Reasons Why My Family Rocked 2018 Way Harder Than Yours

 

Well, you can already tell that I am rocking 2019, hence I am posting our 2018 yearly review video in such a timely manner, as it’s almost March 2019.

Here are the top 10 reasons why my family definitely rocked 2018 way harder than yours. And it’s not what you think, it’s not any of our accomplishments, fancy travels, trophies or recognition we received, it’s quiet the opposite as you are soon about to see! And if you dare to think you rocked it better than us, I invite you to compile a yearly review video as well and challenge me! Bring it on!

 

Family Photo Shoot/Christmas Cards 2018

 

Family photos can be so stressful, right? You want the moment to be the happiest moment for you and your family so that it can be captured in photos as part of family history and for us to treasure for years to come, but it is so dang stressful as you try really so hard to genuinely smile and look genuinely happy so you’re worried it looks like you’re fake smiling because you’re trying so hard, while trying to tell your kids and husband to give a real smile, to smile big, to look happy, to stop jumping up and down, to look at the photographer, while gritting your teeth closed and smiling and posing for the camera at the same time. Am I right or am I right?

 

If you want to read the most stressful and saddest family photo shoot we’ve ever had, click here to read it.

 

And after you see the photos, I will tell you why this photo shoot ended up being very stressful. Turns out, not thinking or worrying about it nor planning it one bit is not the way to go either.

 

Aiden jumped up in my arms right before the photo was being taken and then the girls decided to follow suit
Love my oldest daughter’s sense of humor. She makes me laugh everyday.
This girl is so sweet and creative. I know she will do great things in life and I’m so excited to see it!
And the photo that made it as our Holiday cards for this year is….
Do you like my final pick? I love all of the photos so much!
Here are what our Christmas cards look like this year.
(Simple, classic & elegant, I love this design SO much. Click here for the link to the design)

 

So let me tell you about why this photo shoot ended up being very stressful, despite me trying so hard not to have it be. Since I wanted it as least stressful as possible, I didn’t worry about it one bit. Seriously, not one bit. I didn’t even think about the photo shoot or pick outfits until the morning of the photo shoot. And our photo shoot was at 9 am! Jay had to leave earlier so I had him pick out the outfit he wanted to wear, then the girls picked out their outfits all on their own and then I did pick and dress my son’s outfit, which I do everyday.

 

I didn’t even realize we had the photos until the night before at 9 pm, so I told my husband then which took him by surprise and he had to maneuver his morning schedule around to accommodate the photo shoot. He did not appreciate me throwing this at him literally 12 hours before the shoot. But I honestly just forgot about the shoot!

 

By the time I remembered, my two younger kids were sleeping but my oldest was having a late night at a friend’s house and when I picked her up at 10:15 pm, I totally forgot to mention it to her and she went to bed around 10:45.

 

The morning of, I had to wake her up and she was so grumpy. She wanted to sleep in since she had a late night but she was not pleased when I told her she had to wake up, eat breakfast, get dressed and ready for photos in 30 mins. Oh boy, she was not happy. She gave me a lot of whining and fussing and then started crying and I finally lost it and yelled at her to stop whining and to just get ready, which made her cry more.

 

Then she called me Cruella de Vil. I looked at her and replied after a few seconds of silence, “I’ve never been called that before in my life.” And we both laughed. But her skin is so sensitive and reacts strongly to her cries so she had puffy eyes, red nose and red face the whole photo shoot. UGH.

 

We show up at the location and it wasn’t until 30 mins. after the photo shoot that I realized Jay was wearing slippers. He was wearing flip flops, guys. UGH. I pointed it to him and asked if he forgot to bring his other, nice shoes and he said, “No, these are the shoes I meant to wear to the photo shoot.” Eye roll.

 

And when we got the photos back, I looked at the photos and eye rolled my eyes harder as I looked at his slippers and his fake, half smile in every single photo. He didn’t even make an effort to open his eyes! So as I look at his squinty eyes(not because he’s part Asian, because he didn’t care and even try to open his eyes), fake, half smile, slippers and his loud, busy shirt that doesn’t match the rest of our subdued, classic outfits, I can’t help but smile. I have no desire to change Jay in any way and love him for everything that he is. His cheap slippers and all.

Below are the links to the card design I picked out this year, other card designs I loved, the custom stamp I went with, the cutest display bars for Holiday cards(comes in gold or copper in various sizes), and the cutest wrapping papers you will ever see!

 

Link to our card design

Display bars

 

wrapping paper one | two | three | four | five

 

link to our custom stamps

 

Then I got this gift wrap storage organizer, I love it! I linked to the red one but I think this link is for this buffalo print.

Our Family Halloween Costumes

 

 

We do a family costume every year ever since we had our first child. see 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012. This might sound crazy but I cannot for the life of me remember what we dressed up as last year? I looked through my blog posts and can’t find any posts! Then I realized, my dad passed away 2 months before Halloween and it’s been a blur for about 3-4 months after he passed away so I am not that surprised after all. Anyone remember what we were? LOL(I hate typing LOL but I use it all the time).

We almost didn’t dress up as a family this year because all of my kids wanted to be something completely different from each other. My oldest wanted to be a warrior, my second daughter a Greek goddess and my youngest wanted to be a baby chick. I almost caved in but then I sat them down and told them how much it meant to be to dress up as a family and they’re getting older, with my oldest almost in Jr. High and she wouldn’t want to dress up as a family then so I need at least this year for all of us to dress up as a family. And that they can dress up whatever they want next year, but that I was not ready to let this stage go yet this year. They understood and were so sweet and immediately agreed.

So here is our costumes for 2018! It might just be our last year which breaks my heart! But maybe I will make all of our costumes again next year if they agree to do a family costume? We will see!

 

 

We are obviously the characters from The Beauty and the Beast! Halloweencostumes.com was kind enough to provide our costumes. They make exclusive costumes too just for their site like my French feather duster costume, I told my kids I didn’t want to dress up as The Beauty and the Beast theme since what would I be? I didn’t want to be the clock or the Prince! But then I saw this costume and I changed my mind and agreed to do this theme.

Here are the links to our costumes

French feather duster:
The beast:

 
 
 

We were rushing the morning of the photo shoot and totally forgot to bring our dog Achilles to our family shoot, we felt so bad!

 
 
 

*I was not paid monetary compensation for this post but was provided in products.