Did you know that parents spend more time choosing a baby name and designing a nursery than they spend on outlining principles that will guide all of their parenting decisions?
It’s true. And it explains why so many parents struggle as their children’s personality takes center stage and they begin to question authority, ignore requests, tease siblings, refuse to go to bed, refuse to cooperate, throw a bit of sass your way, hide homework assignments, or lie about their tech use.
Creating and living according to a clear set of parenting principles will make the entire parenting journey more enjoyable for everyone concerned.
These principles make it possible for parents to get on the same page from day one and work cooperatively in raising capable, cooperative, connected and happy kids.
Beyond that, without a set of guiding principles it’s easy to find yourself in the weeds and parenting is tough enough without the added stress of a flim flam approach to raising our kids.
To launch your creative juices here is my list of guiding principles that I created more than 20 years ago and which I still use to keep me on the straight and narrow in my role as mom.
1. When my children are 35, I want them to say I was a mother of Radical Faith. That I made parenting decisions that showed I had faith in myself, in my children and the world at large.
2. I will give my children choices so they understand the true power that one choice has in creating a meaningful life.
3. I will hold my children accountable to their choices so that they know I have faith in their abilities to handle those choices.
4. I will adequately represent to my children what they can expect from the outside world.
5. I will not save my children from adversity but rather instill in them the confidence that they can bounce back from anything the world may throw their way.
6. I will never talk negatively about my children to anyone other than my closest friends. The ones that I would talk to if I found out my husband was cheating on me. If my husband talked about my faults to others, I would never trust him again with my heart, my body or my mind.
7. I will never over power my children lest I teach them that it is acceptable to overpower others if they do not succumb to your demands.
8. Above all else, I will make sure that each day my children hear from me, what it is I most admire about the way THEY walk through the world so that they have the ability to show others the same deep respect.
By creating and then implementing your own set of guiding principles, you will be on your way to raising emotionally healthy, well adjusted, engaged and resilient children. In other words, you are creating a roadmap for growing a grown up.