I desperately want to succeed at parenting. I mean, don’t we all want to succeed at parenting? The question is, what does it mean to succeed at parenting? What I think is profoundly missing in our society is a focus on wisdom. There’s so much complaining, comparing, defending, and blaming. I don’t want to read about all of that negativity. I want wisdom, real wisdom.
I’d like to share with you some parenting wisdom I believe in.
Work on your marriage, forever. Love your spouse.
Pray often, and pray with your children.
No matter how old your children are, own your mistakes. Every parent makes mistakes, many, many mistakes. Stop making excuses, and stop living in denial.
Once you own your mistakes, apologize to your children.
Once you apologize to your children, change your ways. If you screw up again, apologize again.
Accept, accept, accept what is. Your children are individuals, they aren’t perfect, and neither are you.
Let love and grace be the overall message of your relationship with your children. In order to teach it, you must live it.
Teach your child resilience which means letting them fail and letting them feel strong emotions.
Read to your children.
Teach your children how to be kind.
Treat your children the way you want to be treated.
Your grown up children still need you.
Believe in your intuition.
Stop yelling at your children. It’s unproductive, unnecessary, and harmful.
Let your children be children. They like to throw stuff, make messes, imagine, make jokes, and yell. Take it in stride. Try and remember how fun it was as a kid to goof off. Let them do it every once in awhile.
Teach them that stuff doesn’t bring true joy, but it’s our relationships and experiences that create memories that help sustain our joy. People matter more.
Christmas and birthdays don’t have to be about a car load of toys. Experiences last longer than toys.
Forget about the Joneses. They don’t have wisdom.
Be sure your children know their strengths. Be sure you know their strengths.
Teach your children how to cope with their weaknesses. Teach yourself how to cope with their weaknesses.
Teach your children about their emotions and how to process them.
If you’re struggling in life, seek therapy. Otherwise, your children will need it.
Teach your children social skills without shaming them. All children need to learn social skills.
A father’s role in parenting is just as important as a mother’s role.
Consistency is important in raising children especially with discipline.
Sleep is essential.
Cherish the bedtime routine. If you don’t have a routine, make one.
If you want your teen to talk to you, listen twice as much as you talk and empower them to make wise choices.
Spend quality time with your children regularly.
Teach your children how to be thankful.
Choose your battles. Don’t nag them on everything. They’re children.
Learn to talk about difficult subjects. You just have to. Don’t wait for someone else to do it. Children, especially teenagers, won’t stop until they get answers to their questions, so if you’re not talking, they will go elsewhere. That’s a big risk.
Consistently ask yourself if your children are over-scheduled. Everyone needs down time, especially children.
Praise your children for who they are, not for what they do.
Hug and kiss your children.
Traditions are nice, but they’re not the be all and end all. People matter more.
Be open to new ideas, new techniques, and more wisdom.
Parenting is messy and difficult, full of dried up markers, broken toys, stained clothing, cars full of never-ending crumbs, and a ridiculous amount “why?”.
Parenting is incredible, beautiful, deeply moving, and life-changing.
What wisdom can you share?