There are so many aspects to raising children in a healthy and productive way that it sometimes seems overwhelming. But really, it isn’t about being sure you never make a mistake… because you will. It is about not making a habit out of mistakes, changing those things that are not what’s best, and improving your parenting skills as you go.
(You can also listen to the podcast "Foundational Parental Mindset".)
A Parental Mindset: Start on a Good Foundation
Having the right parental mindset is the real key to knowing how to raise healthy and happy children who become confident and successful adults. Set your mind to understand these 5 key elements to build a good foundation of parental thinking.
1. You are in charge
Without this mindset, all the other things you try to accomplish will be in vain. You must be able to make decisions that are followed in order for those decisions to be effective in their lives. You must be in charge. Be the MOM!
2. Parenting Means Sacrifice
Every decision you make should be in their best interest and being a good parent means a certain amount of sacrifice. Your mindset should always be about doing the best for your children…even if this means being unpopular with others, having a reputation for strictness, losing friends, or having less income. Your sacrifice is part of being a good parent. Embrace it and watch for the blessings!
3. What You Allow in Moderation...They Will Do To Excess
Your example will be a starting point for your children in just about every significant area of their lives. What you do, if left alone, will be excused and replicated by your children… and they will take it further. If you drink wine at dinner, expect your children to drink more alcohol and be around friends that do. If you have bad language at times of anger, expect your children to use it in regular conversation. If you have a tattoo, expect your children to have many. If you live immorally, expect that your children will have a lot of drama in their own personal lives. Think about the kinds of habits you want your children to have… and not to have. Remember, when left alone to glean from your life, they will pick up everything whether you want them to or not.
4. Parental Maturity
Have a mindset for thinking of the future. People don’t like to think about the correlation between dogs and children. Somehow that seems …. degrading. But, truth is, there are a lot of similarities when it comes to training. Here is an example. If you have a cute little Labrador puppy who is jumping up on your legs wanting your attention, it is so exciting and fun to reach down and love on it. Aren’t those sweet little creatures darling? But, thinking of the future… is that a good idea? Do you want your puppy to jump up on people when it is grown? OF course not! Wouldn’t it be better to train your puppy not to jump up on people now rather than when they are a 75 pound ball of energy knocking over any visitor who comes through your door? Teach and train your children to behave as you want them to in the future for their own good and for the good of your family and society. Have a mindset for the future.
5. Build a relationship of trust
Have a mindset of establishing trust between you and your child. From infancy through adulthood, constantly work on and keep your part of the bond of trust. If you haven’t yet, read “Trust: Building a Relationship With Your Child” from this blog. If you have made mistakes in this area, be honest and upfront and apologize to your children. Change what you have done and do better… just as you want them to do when they find they have made a mistake in their own lives.
With this set of principles in your mind, doing a good job of parenting should come fairly naturally! But even so, we all have parental blind spots and there isn’t a parent in this world who has never made a mistake. The next blog post will be "23 Common Mistakes Parents Make"!