Thursday, 10 April 2014

Parenting Principles 2.0

I had lots of great ideas after last week's Parenting Principles post. I have revised accordingly. I am constrained by a desire to make each principle exactly two words.

1. Be calm.
(This really is a mantra for life -- I would love to be more laid back, but I'm not. I find faking it does help in all sorts of situations though. Knitting totes helps.)

2. No rushing.
(So key for me. If I have the time to wait, they will usually do whatever it is without reminding and without shouting.)

3. Adults first.
(I got this idea from a friend who had a child before I did. I remember that she and her husband had the rule that if two people in the house were crying, you attend to the adult first. The whole putting on your own mask first principle.)

4. Model well.
(I like "monkey see, monkey do," much better, but the two word thing.)

5. Be playful.
(Supposed to also encompass seeing the funny side, smiling & laughing.)

6. No cheating.
(This is consistency for me. It's almost never worth bending a rule, I find. Whenever I'm flexible with Harry's bedtime, I end up rushing him. Not worth it.)

I also like these 4 ideas, but I'm having trouble condensing them down to two word phrases:

7. This too shall pass.

8. Don't sweat the small stuff.

9. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
(Maybe: Leave it. Though I'm not sure that I personally need this one. I probably let too much go rather than the reverse.)

10. The days are long, but the years are short.
( I may indulge in this video later today. Always yields a nice cry.)

Any (further) suggestions gratefully received!


  1. Not sure I agree with the adults-first one. For oxygen masks, yes. For listening in many situations, yes. For lots of things, yes. But for crying (which I'm taking figuratively here, I don't run into many crying adults) in particular: adults (should) have more resources for managing their emotions and coping in situations. If the adult has broken their arm and the kid has grazed a knee, then yes, attend to the adult first. If both have grazed their knees, I think the adult can handle it better without a cuddle than the kid can. Or at the very least, you can attend to the adult, with the kid on your lap...

    1. I *might* change it to marriage first. I'm thinking about things like coming in the door and paying all sorts of attention to the boys and forgetting to greet Sian at all. But really, I think this principle and yesterday's post do reflect that I believe in being more parent-centred than child-centred. I feel a Monday Musing coming on.

  2. Me Time
    Mainly because it is always everyone else's time first, so "Me Time" can be anything just give yourself some time - do nails, toenails, hair, gym, meditate......

    Us Time
    Could also be Marriage First, but this is time for the two of you....dinner out, TV show together, glass of wine on the balcony, even just 10 minutes just to chat without a little (or not so little anymore) interrupting :)

  3. BTW I love all your points....
    Counting to 10 still helps to stay calm, biting my tongue and waiting to think about it helps too :)
    Monkey see monkey do, is so appropriate especially when those four letter words come out and then it gets repeated...ooopppss
    Love your posts Al