Today I would like to welcome fellow teacher, blogger and mama, Amanda Morgan of Not Just Cute to Childhood 101.
As a society, we tend to be suckers for a great slogan. Lexus had a catchy one a few years ago: “The relentless pursuit of perfection.” We could certainly apply the same slogan to parenting. No other pursuit is more worthy of perfection, yet it seems parenting perfection is far from reality.
To make matters worse, it seems like no matter how hard you’re trying, there is someone to tell you—directly or indirectly—that you’re doing it all wrong.
There is certainly no ONE right way to parent, as the shelves full of parenting books in every book store and library will attest to. If there was one right way, we’d all own that book and have it memorized. Instead we find that there are millions of parents with just about as many approaches for meeting the needs of their children.
“Perfect” parenting may very well be a myth.
I do believe, however, that there are certain principles of parenting that are consistent and true, although their application will look different in almost every home.
Here are a few of the principles I believe in:
- Parenting and discipline has more to do with teaching than with punishing.
- Children learn from boundaries, choices, and consequences.
- Parenting happens within a relationship that is a vital part of every interaction. This relationship thrives when children feel safe, loved, respected, and validated.
- Parenting requires recognition of the child’s developmental as well as motivators like power and attention.
I believe these principles remain true in every dynamic, though they look different in every home.
- Successful parents teach. What they teach varies depending on personal values or culture.
- Children need boundaries. The boundaries that are set may depend on age and temperament or family dynamics.
- Children respond to parenting within a healthy relationship. How you build that relationship is intensely personal.
- Principled parents recognize power as a motivator. How they balance that power depends on the situation, the stakes, and the child’s state.
We parents may be in “the relentless pursuit of perfection”, but our pursuit is never ending, and we find ourselves taking plenty of missteps along the way. But when we trade our unrealistic notions about perfection for a set of principles and equip ourselves with a variety of tools, we’re better prepared to meet the needs of our children, step by step, in the right direction for them.
What principles guide your parenting?
I have posted before about Amanda’s ebook, Parenting with Positive Guidance, and the book is the basis for her e-Course of the same name. The eCourse provides parents with the opportunity to learn more about the principles Amanda has introduced here as well as ten positive behaviour guidance tools suitable to be implemented via a variety of personal styles. You can find out more about the eCourse here.
Amanda Morgan is a full time mom to three busy boys (with a fourth boy on the way!) and a part-time trainer and consultant for a non-profit children’s organization. She is the author of two ebooks, Parenting with Positive Guidance and Creativity Matters. She also writes at Not Just Cute, a blog focused on intentional whole child development.