I came across this contest and thought it sounded like fun.
Something that I know now (though I frequently forget, and have to remind myself often) that I wish I'd known much, much sooner is to always believe the best!!!
I've talked before about the book Biblical Parenting and how much I learned from it. And it is the core principal of that book that I want to share as what I wish I'd learned sooner.
I wish I'd learned sooner to give the benefit of the doubt, assume a child forgot, or didn't hear, instead of assuming they disobeyed. Remember that kids don't think through cause and effect. Remember that before age 6 (or thereabouts, I don't remember the exact age) kids don't always understand the difference between truth and fiction. When I ask "did you break the lamp" and L says "no", she's not consciously lying. In her mind, if she says she didn't, then it didn't happen.
I don't have to focus on the motivation. When they spill something, regardless of whether they "knew better" or it was an accident, I can calmly tell them how to clean up the mess, or help them if needed.
God loves us, and gives us SOOO many chances. How often have you asked God's forgiveness for the SAME thing you just promised Him you'd "never do again"? Me too! So how can I do any less for my kids? How can I hold them to a higher standard than God holds me to? Jesus tells us to forgive others 70x7 times. That applies to our kids too!
Instead of teaching my kids to be afraid of "getting caught" I can teach them that they can always come to me and we can work together to fix things.
So, in a nutshell, I wish I'd read Biblical Parenting when my girls were babies!