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Ten Parenting Resolutions for All of Us

Dec31

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Like everyone else this time of year leads me to reflect upon my life and think about what things I want to change going forward. Of course I would love to eat better, exercise more, and a whole host of other things that most of say we would like to do, yet fail to make a priority over and over again.

I want to be better parent.  Honestly, who doesn’t?  I am sure none of us have reached a place where we feel we have perfected this parenting thing.  I don’t think such perfection even exists.  But every day I still try, not to reach perfection, but to do the best I can and to learn to appreciate the imperfect

I am not going to say I will do crafts, or embrace the indoor use of glitter. Nor will I listen to “kid” music in my car. But I am going to try to be more conscious of the parenting choices that I make. So my resolutions for this year aren’t lofty. I don’t plan on leaving 2011 with a list of resolutions I haven’t even considered since January third.

1: Yell less. It never works anyway, does it? There is always a better option. Unless, of course you are trying to be heard above a speeding train heading right for your child, then by all means yell.

2: Listen more. it is amazing how much strife can be avoided if people, not just parents, took the time to listen rather than just react. The things I beat myself up for the most are the times I when I completely overreacted to a situation that could have been avoided if I had only taken a step back and listened to what my children were really saying to me.

3: Savor the small moments. Read the bedtime story, even though it is past their bedtime. Play the game, even though you think it might cause your brain to spill out of your ears. Sit with your teenagers late at night while they eat a snack at the kitchen table. These are the small moments that you don’t think anyone will remember. And perhaps they won’t remember them, but they will remember how you made them feel during their childhood. Do you want them to remember feeling like a burden, an annoying distraction? Or do you want them to remember feeling cherished?

4: The little things matter. Show them how much you care. Whether it is just looking at them in the eye with a smile on your face when they come home from school, or rubbing their arm as you walk past them. I often text my older kids during the day to tell them something that I think they will find funny. Or I will buy some small treat, and I mean small, and leave it for them on their bed. Just a tiny something to let them know that they are special even in a crowd of a family.

5: Acknowledge that some battles on are not worth fighting. Afterall, they need photos of poorly chosen haircuts and clothes to laugh at later in life.

6: Parent as if no one is watching. There are times it is tempting to just give in on your personal beliefs or ideals so as to not make a scene. Let the scene happen. It won’t be pleasant. But in the long run, you’ll be thankful you didn’t cave in because you were worried about what your neighbor would  think.

7: Parent as if everyone is watching. You wouldn’t scream and yell at your children in public, why do it in private.  Watch your tone of voice.

8: Unplug.   If you are behind a screen, you are not interacting.

9: Play.  Be silly.  Act like a child.  Have fun with your kids.  

10: Enjoy. Enjoy your kids more. Enjoy your life more. This is probably the most challenging. But personally, I am tired of complaining when really I have nothing to complain about.

About the author

Chris Jordan

http://notesfromthetrenches.com
Chris Jordan began blogging at Notes From the Trenches in 2004 where she writes about her life raising her children in Austin, Texas.

Oh, she has seven of them. Yes, children.

Yes, they are all hers.

No she's not Catholic or Mormon. Though she wouldn’t mind having a sister-wife because holy hell the laundry never stops.

Yes, she finally figured out what causes it. That's why her youngest is almost 6.

Yes, she has a television.

She enjoys referring to herself in the third person.

If you would like to submit a question for Chris to answer publicly, please do so to adviceforparentsoftweens[at]gmail[dot]com.


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9 Responses to “Ten Parenting Resolutions for All of Us”

  1. Susan Jan 01 at 12:08 pm Reply Reply

    I do family childcare and I am going to try your ideas with the children in my care. Thank you so much for all of the great ideas you share. Susan

  2. Mama B Jan 01 at 5:48 pm Reply Reply

    this is the best resolution list I have read so far. I love it! I am thinking of printing it out and stapling it to the palm of my hand lol. 

  3. Liz Jan 02 at 12:26 am Reply Reply

    I totally love this. And as someone who doesn’t have any children at all yet (4 months to go!), I for one applaud you for your ban on indoor glitter use and children’s music in the car. 

  4. L. Jan 07 at 12:19 pm Reply Reply

    I just wanted to say that I loved this list, thank you Chris! I am not yet a parent but those things can be applied to our other relationships as well. In the last few months I have really turned a new leaf in realizing that, hey my life is really great now and I should stress less and cherish my husband and this time in our lives!

  5. Lisa Jan 10 at 2:20 pm Reply Reply

    Chris,  I really enjoyed this entry…  it made me stop and think about how I parent my daughter.  It’s always good to have reminders of what’s really important, and where the focus should be.

  6. hennifer Jan 14 at 2:07 pm Reply Reply

    #7, I really need to work on that one. It goes hand in hand with #1 for me. I need to remember that working to be a better parent doesn’t have to mean I’m currently a bad one.

  7. eko Jan 15 at 11:25 pm Reply Reply

    EVERY single point is spot ON!  NOW to put it into practice — really, there is NOTHING more important in my life as these parenting years…they will so influence these little/mid size ones.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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