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Aug 03

Parenting – My 44 Thoughts

What you’re about to read  are just some of my thoughts – not all of them, just 44. So what’s the point going to be? Parenting is an art, the more you practice it, hopefully the better you become. But the fulcrum lies on how you define the art of parenting…

Technically, I suppose you could just go through the motions as a mother or father, and it would be considered parenting. But, not necessarily good parenting. I leave the definition of “good or bad parenting” to you.

So what I’m about to write are just my musings about parenting, as a parent. You can agree, disagree or be indifferent. I just hope you’ll take an inventory of your own parenting style. I hope you’ll think about areas in which you might enhance your own parenting style.

I’ll do this in a list fashion but in no certain order… I will also refrain from saying thinks like “I believe” or, “in my opinion”  every time, and just preface it with the fact that this should be understood – in other words this is just my take and nothing else – no science or studies are  involved. Some of my thoughts may inspire you to say things like, “What a prude”, and that’s fine, form your own opinion.

Here we go…

  1. Parenting is hard
  2. Parents are called to be parents and not best friends with their children. That’s why your title is “parent” and not “best friend!”
  3. A parent’s job is to teach their children what they need to know so one day they can leave.
  4. A lot of “right decisions” are  going  to make you feel terrible for some odd reason – they shouldn’t!
  5. It’s OK to say no if you have nothing more than a “gut feeling” that something just doesn’t seem right.
  6. Take your kids to church – they are depending on you and so is Jesus.
  7. Your children are God’s gift to you, so give thanks often.
  8. Teach your young men to open doors for ladies. If you’re a dad – model that behavior yourself.
  9. Teach your kids to say “yes sir, yes mam and no mam and no sir”. Maybe seems old fashioned but I believe it’s timeless.
  10. Teach your kids to say “thank you” and to say it  liberally.
  11. Tell your kids “thank you” often.
  12. Tell your kids “I love you” often and don’t take for granted that they know that.
  13. Don’t ask your kids if  they want to go to church – remember that you’re the parent. Lead like one.
  14. If there is an age level appropriate program for your children on Sunday mornings in church – make sure they attend it. They’ll learn more there.
  15. Teach your children to make their bed as soon as they are old enough and have them do it – everyday.
  16. Teach your children to cook and clean.
  17. Have them learn how to change a tire and check the oil.
  18. Teach them to tie a tie.
  19. If you say something will happen the next time they act that way – follow through.
  20. Spend quality time with your children – they grow up fast.
  21. Make sure they learn to eat vegetables – boiled okra and raw celery excluded.
  22. Teach them how  to wash and fold clothes.
  23. Have your sons mow the lawn as soon as they are old enough.
  24. Once they are old enough, make sure they have jobs, at least in summer and part time the rest of the year, when possible.
  25. Teach them the Apostles Creed and the Lord’s Prayer, so they will always be grounded in their faith.
  26. Teach them how to wash/dry dishes by hand.
  27. Make sure you know they have completed their homework.
  28. Make sure they are ready for school – the night before and early enough that corrections can be made without being up too late.
  29. Don’t take something your child has done wrong that belongs on the value menu and then supersize the discipline.
  30. When your child does something wrong, try asking yourself – will this make any difference a year from  now and discipline accordingly.
  31. Be careful when allowing your child to be in so many  extracurricular activities that it effects the family, finances, grades and church attendance.
  32. Explore the possibility of learning a musical instrument early.
  33. Model the behavior you want your kids to copy – they’re watching
  34. If you’re married, make sure you tell your spouse “thank you, I  love you”, etc – your  children are watching.
  35. Take your family on vacations – they don’t have to be extravagant.
  36. Love = Time- spend time with your kids. They will never forget it, and neither will you.
  37. Don’t scream at your kids – remember they are God’s gift to you. So, Discipline them appropriately.
  38. Teach  them how  to polish their shoes.
  39. Teach them what matches when it comes to clothes.
  40. It’s OK to tell them that certain clothes may not  be appropriate for them – goes for guys and gals.
  41. Teach your boys to be gentlemen.
  42. Teach your daughters to be ladies.
  43. Did I mention, take them to church, say I love you a lot, model the behavior you want them to copy?
  44. Teach them to keep their rooms clean. Keeping yours clean will go a long ways.

Agree, disagree, or be indifferent, but maybe just one on the list may resonate and create action. These are my 44 thoughts – for now.