A friend of mine is having her first baby in December. I certainly don’t have this parenting thing all down pat. In fact, I often feel like I am learning on the fly. But I guess there are a few things I think to be important. And basically that is what this list is, things I have shared or will share with my friend.
I am NOT saying I do all or even any of these things well—just I’ve found them to be important to me. After I pontificate to her I will then point her to this WFMW at Shannon’s and let her get really good info from all the other wise contributors to WFMW—The Parenting Advice Edition.
10 Don’ts and 10 Dos:
1. Don’t do something just because it is in a popular book.
2. Don’t do something just because all the other parents are doing so.
3. Don’t feel bad for having your own set of rules.
4. Don’t be afraid to change rules that don’t work.
5. Don’t be afraid to put your children first.
6. Don’t be so quick to force independence—protection is what parents are supposed to do.
7. Don’t be afraid to be human.
8. Don’t pretend you have all the answers. "Let's look it up together." Goes a long way. Admitting that you don't always know what is what is tough, but can be rewarding.
9. Don’t be afraid to say, “No.” But sometimes try to figure out how it can be a, “Yes.”
10. Don’t assume you know what they’re going to say—be prepared to be surprised at their answers.
1. Be their safe harbor—to have a child come to you with full trust is an awe inspiring thing.
2. Be their advocate—if you don’t go to bat for them how will they ever learn to bat for themselves—and why do you thing someone else will do it.
3. Do go with your gut. Don’t care what the nurse on the doctors’ info line says, don’t care what your best friend says, don’t care what your sister says—if you really, really think something is wrong it is better to be safe than sorry. This applies to so many things.
4. Do eat well and exercise. You want to be around for a long time and you want them to learn from your wonderful example.
5. Do read—alone and together, silently and aloud, as a whole family, let the kids read to each other. Read and read a lot of different things.
6. Do say you are sorry. It took me until way late in life to admit to ever being wrong, and while no one would accuse me of being a humble person, I truly want to have a humble heart before God, my spouse and my children.
7. Do love your spouse.
8. Do pray for your children.
9. Do pray with your children & your spouse.
10. Do love God first. They learn what they see.
Visit Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer for more WFMW.