In our free Facebook Group (Empowering Parents to Uplift Kids) one of our members shared a piece by David Morris called 8 FIGHTS WORTH PICKING WITH YOUR KIDS requesting input, opinions, and points of agreement and disagreement. A great discussion ensued. I responded here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_7_jkcGlKI And our group Moderator, Taylor Douglas, did a brilliant re-write I'd love to share with you!!
Parenting is an opportunity to guide little beings to be functional and happy adults.
Here are 8 ways to develop a powerful and connected family culture:
The Reading Culture: Read to your kids. Read with your kids. Read in front of your kids. Reading is tied to everything from cognitive development to the ability to focus showing your kids that reading can be a way to connect, have fun and learn!
The Outside Culture: Give your kids a safe place to go outside and explore, get dirty and go outside WITH them! The natural world teaches us. Plus, there's sunshine, fresh air, and exercise waiting for us! Most importantly, nature is full of things in short supply in our world: Discovery, wonder, peace, joy. So get outside as a family.
The Effort Culture: Show your kids how to value effort at their development level. Celebrate their effort! Effort WITH them. Many parents have strict and demanding rules about chores and work, and others have none. There are priceless life principles you can only learn when putting in effort to clean your home, learn something, or even building something together. Be their teacher and show them how.
The Family Meal Culture: Hold boundaries around eating as a family. Our lives are a blur of incessant activity. Meals together are a physical pause to recover a connection so easily sacrificed at the altar of busy-ness. Nothing's more important than connected time as a family.
The Boredom Culture: You don’t have to fix boredom. Encourage your kids to create, explore and imagine. Don't show a DVD on each car ride or schedule every moment of every day. And, odd as it sounds, being STILL and CREATIVE is a skill they’ll have to redevelop as an adult if you don’t show them that it’s okay not to be stimulated all the time.
(That also means you need to turn off the music, put away your phone and do it too). It's hard as a parent to deal with the assault of boredom complaints but if you give in and fill up their time with external stimuli, you'll raise an activity addict. Teach them how to be.
The "Full Cup" Boundary: Take care of you first, when needed. Teach your children about respect, priorities and service. You don’t have to force them to go last but show them how to focus inward to take care of themselves and then have empathy, and serve others. Take the smaller piece of cake, give up the remote, have alone time to reset, wait for Mom/Dad to finish what they’re doing. They won't like it, but they need it, and so do you.
The Open Conversation Culture: Have conversations with your kids openly. Sex, dating, body image, values... If you start young, your kids won’t roll their eyes and resist, they’ll come to you because they trust that you’re a safe place to be honest. They need and want your perspective, lessons learned, and wisdom.
The Moderation Culture: Learning to live within healthy limits is a valuable life skill. In fact, many adult problems arise from an inability to accept them. Screen time limits, dietary limits, activity limits, and schedule limits are all good.
As a parent, you have to pick the culture you want to create. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth the effort.
Taylor Douglas edited from an original called “8 Fights Worth Picking With Your Kids” by David Morris on Twitter
What is *your* take away? Which pieces do *you* want to adopt into your family?