Last night was a fun-filled night with friends who have a heart for parents and parenting. We had a great time catching up with them and talking about our kids and their heart for families. It was a good reminder for me as a mother to parent with the philosophy of “begin as you mean to go.” Parenting shouldn’t be spur of the moment decision making based on the moment’s need, but it should be well thought out and planned. The actions we take as parents should reflect our underlying beliefs and behavioral goals for our children as opposed to rolling with the punches and scrambling to decide how to act in the moment, only to realize that you are at a loss for what to do because you really don’t know how your child should be acting. When your child is screaming and you are stressed, it is good to know your options. Let’s be honest: making decisions when you’re stressed out and annoyed doesn’t always have the best result.
Knowing the ultimate goal- your values, your desires for your children’s accomplishments and behavior- makes it much easier to decide how you need to act to achieve that goal. When you know you value respect, you decide what action steps need to be taken in order to remind your child to be respectful. You follow through with those steps even when it is inconvenient or might be embarrassing to you. It is worth it! It will result in a much more desired outcome.
Next time you can sit down with your spouse, talk about what you desire your children to learn and value. Then come up with an action plan of how you will achieve that. Hold to it and keep each other accountable. Re-training is much more difficult than training.
So, “begin as you mean to go.”