As a Mom, I pray that every choice I make is based in love. Whether it is soft love or tough love I hope my children know they are loved, and feel loved. I know at times I will unintentionally mix up which love I am using. I may use tough love when soft love was needed and vice versa. As long as my parenting remains from the inside out, with love as my core, I am confident that I am on the path I am meant to be on as a parent.
I was not always as confident as a Mom.
Before coming back to my faith, I was parenting more from my fluctuating emotions than from a solid foundation. One day I was fine with a behavior, the next day I wasn't. This lead to a roller coaster ride of parenting for me…and for my children. They weren't sure which Mom they were getting day to day, was I going to be upset with them today for doing something that I was fine with yesterday? This inconsistency lead to many child (and adult) temper tantrums.
One day I realized I needed to have defined expectations and be more consistent in my follow through as a Mom.
I see this best when I think about it in a classroom setting.
If a teacher's expectations of his/her students are established, and there is consistent follow through, the student's grow to know what behaviors are acceptable and which ones are not. If the teacher does not establish expectations and/or is inconsistent, then the child's behavior too will be in flux because they do not know what is really expected of them, or what the teacher really values as important.
As a teacher I had defined expectations for my classes, why not have that as a parent?
Creating the George Family Rules gave me a foundation from which I parented. These rules define what we value in our family and give our children a foundation to know what is expected of them. These rules are flexible and we can add on and subtract as we grow together. For example, having fun together is something we value and will be added to our list and "Take care of our home" has grown into "Take care of our home and all who live in it and all who visit."
Today I encourage you to...
- Create a list of what your family values are.
- Discuss the list as a family. Encourage everyone to participate, add and subtract from the list as needed.
- Define your family rules, aka expectations of each member of the family.
- Expect each other's best, not perfection. We all will mess up, parents and children alike. Meet each other with love along this journey and encourage each other along the way to do your best and learn from the rest.
- For more encouragement visit my parenting pinterest page and read my parenting related blog posts below.
A few resources from my parenting journey...