The First Steps

Xander finally took his first steps, so how will I take mine?

It has been a long 15 months of carrying Xander around everywhere! I was beginning to worry about getting back problems from carrying this 26 lb. baby everywhere!

The average age that children begin walking is 12 months according to statistics given by the U.S Department of Education.

Xander was a tad bit behind the curb, which is totally ok!

I wasn’t too worried about it simply because he would engage in assisted walking while holding my hands.  Yet, when he tried on his own, his little legs would turn to jelly.

He would stand on his own for a few seconds then come tumbling down into a crawl.

It was adorable!

I’m so glad that he’s finally walking all on his own now though.

Xander walking is a game changer. Now we get to run around in the grass together, play tag, play hide and seek, chase animals, but best of all…

We can go on adventures!

Oh, did I also mention how much better my back will feel without 26 lbs. of cuteness weighing it down?

It’s so amazing to see your mini-me evolve and grow.

When I was trying to help him learn how to walk he would fall again and again.

It’s amazing to see your child continue to get up and try again and again.

I’ll be honest, I nearly cried when he was walking around all on his own. However, we were at the doctor so I though it may be a bit weird seeing a grown man cry in the middle of the doctor’s office.

In typical male fashion I held it in until no living being would see me. Which probably isn’t healthy.

I never thought I would be the one to start crying over each and every milestone, but it seems as if this is the case.

I remember crying on my way to take the GRE two days after Xander was born. So much happiness that week paired with so little sleep.

First time Xander said “dada”, I cried with him. That was a good moment.

Then I cried when I finally got to have Xander overnight.

And then you have the most recent episode of waterworks when Xander walked.

This brings me to taking one of the first steps to great parenting, which is don’t be afraid to show emotions with your children.

I know for males, it’s often preached to not cry, show any kind of emotion, or weakness.

Personally, I think not being able to show any type of emotion is a weakness. Showing emotion is a healthy thing for us all to do regardless of if you have children or not.

If you hold your emotions back, be it happiness, sadness, or what have you, you will be teaching your child to be an emotionless robot!

If that’s your thing, then by all means, pass it down to your children.

Though, I will say that people that don’t bottle their emotions tend to lead much healthier lives. There’s a reason why therapy is so prevalent after all.

By showing our kids our own emotions that we experience, we give them a baseline on how to deal with the same emotion themselves.

So let’s say we express out anger by counting down from ten. Chances are, your kids will deal with their anger the same way after observing it enough times.

This is a much better alternative to say, hitting things, where they could potentially harm themselves.

While hitting things does release tension, do you really want your child to continue to hit objects out of frustration into their adult years? I’m sure a broken bone or two after punching a wall will quickly change how that anger is expressed.

You don’t want your child to break some bones for something avoidable like that. Let it be for something cool like doing a triple on a dirt bike that they were riding when you thought they were studying with Jeremy.

Oh boy, if that really were to happen, then you’d get the opportunity to show your child how to deal with all kinds of emotions!

Don’t be afraid to show your kids how to deal with emotions. Moments where you’re overloaded with an emotion is a perfect time to teach and lead by example.

I know it can be uncomfortable showing yourself in a vulnerable state, but it will be ok. It’s in those vulnerable moments where bonding can not only be created, but cemented.

Speaking personally, I have much more respect for people who can drop their walls and be vulnerable than someone who can’t.

One of the first steps toward parental mastery is to share your emotions with your children so that you can not only teach, but also show your children healthy ways to express them.

If you can teach them this skill, then they will also bounce much higher after hitting rock bottom.

Stay Awesome

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