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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

What Should Parents Do?

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for good parenting, however there are definitely elements that lead to greater child happiness and success. As I think of this today, I am reminded of the following elements of positive parenting:
  • A healthy routine for your children is essential, a routine that includes healthy food/drinks, a good night's rest, play, and time to talk about issues that matter with family members.
  • A safe, nurturing, and welcoming environment.
  • Comfortable clothes and shoes that allow students to move and be comfortable in the weather that exists.
  • Positive experiences and family events -- what you put in is what you get, so if you fill your children with positive, uplifting experiences, you'll get positive, uplifting children.
  • Children first - of course it is important for parents to have the time they need to be healthy and happy, but if you are a parent, you have to make the time to care well for your children, they come first.
  • Collaboration with coaches, care givers, educators, neighbors, family members, and others who care for your children. It definitely takes a village to take good care of children and the village members have to work together to create safe and happy communities where children can flourish. 
  • Help your children find and develop their interests and passions -- every child is different and every child is filled with his/her own set of interests, talents, passions, and questions. Make the time to help your child find out who he/she is and then support his/her life journey with experiences that help them to become strong, happy people who know who they are and how they can live successfully.
  • Serve others - find ways to help your children develop empathy, contribute, and serve others. None of us can be all things, but we can definitely be more if we learn to live with, work with, and understand others. By helping others and contributing to the community students learn a lot about themselves and others, this is critical.
  • Good citizens - find ways to help your children become good citizens, good citizens in the neighborhood, school, community, state, and nation. There are countless ways to do this and this helps your child grow as a positive part of the community and ultimately learn a good reputation that leads to opportunities.
  • Fun and recreation - Make sure that you make time for positive, healthy family fun.
  • Imperfection - Accept the fact that none of us are perfect, but we can all move towards betterment. Our imperfections help us and others learn too. 
To parent well is challenging, time consuming, and essential for your children's well being and the well being of the community. To parent well is more time intense than confusing--it simply takes good time to engage in the elements above, elements that require time, effort, sacrifice, and commitment.