The Mindful Parent.

We can't control every thought that pops into our heads. But we can choose which ones we focus on and follow, and which we let go. So often parents complain about the annoying or frustrating parts of parenting, and yes, no child is perfect, any more than any parent is. Let yourself see the positive aspect of every interaction, even the struggles. Your child is learning, at each point of interaction, for better or worse. What are you teaching? There may not be a solid gain you can point to after a particular conflict. But rest assured, you are getting to know who your child is, and who you are, at every turn. What are you learning?

Can you teach yourself to appreciate the small successes, rather than feel you have lost if you don't get your way? The goal of parenting can be improvement, it can't be perfection.


Plan wisely!

50 wise suggestions for dads of daughters

They're not really rules, as the writer calls them, but they are very good ideas. Children need to know that they are loved and valued. Your relationship with them is the yardstick they'll use to choose friends and partners through life. They learn from you how to walk the path of life, which forks to take, and which to avoid. When you're thinking of having children, people will tell you "it's an eighteen year commitment!" But it's not. It's forever. You didn't know who you would be as a parent until you had a child. Now, you have a choice every day to make yourself a better person, not just for yourself, but for that bright shining face looking up at you in the morning. 


Why it's important to teach your kids self-control.

In Southern California, a mother and her daughters are rear ended by a truck, and pushed over the edge of a bridge, their mangled car dangling by its own wreckage over a ravine.
(Story here.)  Luckily they were rescued, and both girls, an eleven year old and an eleven month old, were fine.

As you watch the clip and realize how hard it must be for the mom to keep her cool, trapped with her daughters, imagine what it must have been like for her 11 year old.  Kids who have spent their childhoods practicing making smart choices, thinking for themselves, problem solving for the best solutions, won't need to have mom tell them repeatedly what to do. They're used to active listening, managing their emotions, cooperating and keeping their cool. No matter what your parenting style, teaching kids to work things out instead of just obeying or reacting, will serve them well throughout their lives. And it'll form the basis of a great relationship with you.

Engaged parents, happy babies

Engaged parents, happy babies