I was going to start my blog as usual, when I just received a video from my sister in law about being grateful and how that manifests our thoughts and life. Being thankful and grateful is not an action we can force on anyone. When I'm told that my son is well behaved, I take that as a compliment for myself because kids just mimic what they see. When I say "me" or "myself", when it comes to parenting, it's my husband and me because I feel parenting is not a one person job. How much ever one spouse feels he/she is practically raising the kids and the other person is not contributing at all; you're wrong. Even the physically absent parent is contributing. I always maintain there is no right or wrong parenting. Each one has his/her own style. It becomes wrong only when you're physically or mentally harming the child! I became a parent really young, I was just 24 and I thought that's what helped me connect with my child mentally, but that's not true, I know other young parents who could never achieve that same bond with their child. I've often heard parents complaining that their child is not grateful for all that is provided to them. Well, have you shown them, through example, how grateful you are for all that you have? There is a little ritual that my son and I have been doing religiously since he was born. It is, me telling him how thankful and grateful I am to God for having him and he is the best thing that's ever happened to me! And then, he repeats the same thing to me. I haven't ever forced him to say this. It's a time for us to express our feelings. Then I tell him "I love you to the moon and back." Sometimes he tells me "Yes mommy I know!" and I console myself that he's probably like his dad and doesn't express much; but almost immediately he says, "Mom, I love you too and you can say this everyday coz' I miss it when you are not here!" We do this on days when I have been upset with his behavior too. Because it's the truth and nothing can change it. Respect, love and gratitude is not something you can demand. Some relationships command respect and love. This would sound cheesy, but patience is really a virtue. If you are a happy and patient parent you will have happy children at home. Respect them as individuals. They are little, but they have choices too. Please don't force your child to eat vegetables, instead make it a rule of the house you cannot say no to anything without trying. After trying it, if they still don't like it, they can choose to say no. Of course there is no 'one size fits all' trick to master parenting. Each child is different and you need to handle them differently. But 'handle with care. They are fragile.' How you treat them molds their brains and that's how they will treat others. They reflect your thoughts, your upbringing and your temperaments. Respect them and they'll respect you. You show gratitude and they will show it too! I know I will receive a lot of flak for this blog. I know quite a few "seasoned" parents who claim they've mastered the art of parenting through experience. But please know, the moment you leave a room, the kids you raised, are talking ill about you and that's, not a result of positive parenting. Enjoy the little joys of life. You are lucky to have a child to share it with. You love them, but let them know it. Love that is not expressed is love wasted!