Guidelines for Parenting
I am honored to have my article printed in several Natural Awakenings Magazines recently (Especially cool since one is from Knoxville, TN where I graduated from college!) These Guidelines for Parenting tips are something I wrote many years ago when my children were young. It was published in 1986 in a wonderful book called Children of the Dawn by Joshua Halpern. I have a feeling that these parenting tips are universal and I sure hope that they provide parents out there with some guidance for having a wonderful family experience. My sweet husband and father of my children, Dean Evenson, and I had a lot fun with our three wonderful kiddos. Our daughter’s daughter just turned 21 and she’s a treasure who was raised well too. I hope you are having fun too. And if these ideas resonate with you, please share this post.
So here they are to put on your fridge!!! Click and print this PDF
• Stay clear! Your children are mirrors of your moods and attitudes. You will quickly discover how you are feeling by how your children are acting. If they are upset, don’t get upset at them. It will only make things worse. Try to find out what is really bugging them.
• Be consistent. Always changing your position on things will create inner turmoil and confusion. Mom and Dad or the primary parental figures should try to establish a unified program and mutually support each other.
• Work at being positive. Try to build up your child’s sense of the good in life. Don’t look for faults or be unduly critical. Praise your children often.
• Be honest in all your dealings. Children will pick up at an early age what is truth. Help them to be honest by being completely honest yourself.
• Be reasonable and understanding. Explain why you choose a certain path. Don’t use anger as a regular practice. It is a powerful tool and used rarely will be much more effective.
• Provide meaningful boundaries and restrictions. Kids will usually push to find their limits but they really appreciate knowing how far (how late, etc.) they can go.
• Be flexible. You don’t have to be unbending and hard-nosed to keep it straight with your kids and being flexible will keep everybody on their toes.
• Accept their point of view. In fact, encourage their opinion and involve them in the decision-making process of the household. Enjoy the harmony consensus can bring. Rules will be more readily obeyed if they help formulate them.
• Trust your children. Believe in them. Be on their side. Let them feel your support. Let them start life knowing they are loved.
• Don’t nag. Help them develop their own sense of responsibility so the burden of their homework, clean room, the chores, and other have-to-do things is not on your shoulders. Let them hear the firmness in your voice. Once should be enough.
• Develop good habits. Regularity can be healthy, but of course allow for deviation from time to time. Aim toward a consistently healthy lifestyle in all that you do.
• Be available. Don’t get so caught up in your own reality that you neglect your communion with your children.
Balance your love for your own children with your love for all children.
They are your special ones but don’t forget to be loving and fair to others.
• Don’t put your kids on the spot in front of other people. Try to work out your thing with them on a one-to-one basis unless of course a group interaction is more beneficial.
• Help direct your children toward a creative exploration of life.
Support them in opening up to their unique potential as human beings.
• Be a shining example of love for your children to follow. Don’t gossip about your neighbors or play favorites. Everyone will benefit by your unconditional love.
Inspire in your children a reverence and respect for all life. Instill in them an attitude of thanksgiving, and open them up to exploring their spiritual path.
• Be patient with yourselves. Avoid feelings of guilt even when you feel you aren’t measuring up to your expectations as parents. No one is perfect, but you can try your best.
• Guide, console, discipline, and above all, keep a sense of humor.
May the Spirit of Harmony & Crystal Clear Communication bless your family.
Dudley & Dean Evenson, www.soundings.com, Blog: www.HealthyLivingDreams.com
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Let me know what tips you have that have helped you be a better parent. Comment here and I’ll send you a free mp3 music track.