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Words of wisdom for new parents: if you are just starting
out as a parent, what are the most important ideas you need to consider
for your family's future?Here are some parenting ideas I've gleaned from raising 4 kids over a 28+ year span.
What kind of family do you want?
Boisterous? Lively? Peaceful? High-achieving? Faithful? Extended-family
oriented? Generous? Loving? Serving? Financially independent?
Traveling? Sports-minded? Giggly? Educated? Respectful? These all sound
like great kinds of families, don't they?
Or are you aiming for a family that is....
Summary of words of wisdom for new parents:
1. Decide on the character qualities you want your family and homelife to display. Create a road map to help guide you as you build your family. Don't know how to create a family road map? Then look into this: How to raise happy healthy self-confident children. Brian's program is a great one to help you with character development and that long-term road map.
2. Be intentional. You have a lot of influence as the leader in your family. Use it wisely.
3. Don't go it alone. Parenting
is the toughest job you'll probably ever do, but the most important,
too. Give yourself proven tools and resources like the The Total Transformation. With these tools you'll gain confidence, assurance and find you are enjoying the parenting journey more and more.
nagging? Stressful? Out-of-control? Frustrating? Full of anger? Unkind?
Selfish? Burdensome? Disrespectful? You are probably not aiming for a
family that daily displays these qualities. But there are families like this. How did they develop this way and what can we learn from them?
While we cannot control our families or our children, we do have a vast
amount of influence. You will find as a parent that character
development is one of the smartest paths you can put your family on.
Some parents find that character development is a tremendous idea but
they don't know where to start. For those conscientious parents, I
always recommend finding a strong faith community to support them as
they teach character traits to their children. Remember, this wisdom is
a long-term solution and so you will need to use long-term resources that support your parenting efforts..
The words of wisdom I would offer to any family
would include the following ideas at the top of the list:
- After you decide what kind of
family you want, make a road map to get there.
Just as when
you travel, you use a road map to get to your destination as quickly
and efficiently as possible, families benefit greatly from having a
road map, too.
A family road map is simply a plan, as detailed you can make it, that
outlines how you're going to achieve that high-quality family life you
are dreaming about. It will give you direction and guidance.
This fits nicely with the idea above about having a family road map.
Once you decide what kind of family you want, you can intentionally aim
for that direction.
For example. Let's say you decide that you want a family life that is
lively and respectful. You realize your kids will come equipped with a
certain amount of (chaotic) liveliness and very little respect. They'll need guidance to
learn these things and you are their first and best teacher.
So from the beginning, you wisely look for ways to incorporate
concepts into your family life. Maybe you have a weekly game night. And
tickle fests. You see the wisdom in being the house for the
neighborhood kids to hang out at (what better way to know exactly what
your kids are doing, with whom and where?).
You purposefully be respectful to your spouse in front of your kids so
they can see how respect works. You earn your kid's respect by
developing your own leadership qualities that are helpful to your
family. You talk together as they grow about the examples of disrespect
you see in movies and the media and why that behavior is hurtful.
Do you see the value in these words of wisdom? As a new parent, I
didn't always see the wisdom of these words, but the school of hard
knocks has taught me to appreciate them!
Whether you call it wisdom, support, mentoring, continuing education, or
just expanding your base of friends, the bottom line is you'll need
guidance as new parents.
That makes total sense when you think about
Everywhere else in our lives we understand and accept the value of
learning new skills from people who have already done so. We go to
college to get career-ready, we take continuing education courses to
stay sharp, we volunteer as assistants in order to learn the ropes
before we take over a position from someone else.
As we raise our children we'll do the same. We will provide for
their education and upbringing and we will find training for them for everything from
piano lessons to soccer to learning to drive. That's not just words of wisdom for new parents, that's common sense and something we all understand as human beings.
Why would we let the most important job most of us will undertake in
our lives -- parenting -- fall to chance? Would we counsel someone else
to do that? Probably not!
==> So find parenting mentors at each stage of the parenting game to support your parenting efforts.
Ask them to be a
sounding board for you; a place you can come to get practical guidance
and much-needed venting from time to time.
- People a
little (or a lot) farther along the parenting pathway than you are.
- People you respect.
- People who share your values.
Here are more words of wisdom for new parents.
Look at parenting as your most important career choice (it is).
Continually feed your parenting knowledge-base with quality resources;
classes, books, cds, etc. that can help you improve your parenting skills.
A lot of what you will need you can find for free at your local
library. If you would like specific ideas, one of the parenting
resources I recommend is Brian Tracy's cd series How to raise happy healthy self-confident children
because it emphasizes many of the points I cover here and you can
listen to it over and over again throughout the years as your kids grow
to help you wisely stay on that family road map you are developing. Brian's program is a great way to help you build the mindset you'll need
to do well in the parenting game long-term. I find tools like that
vital when I'm working on a long-term project like parenting.
Be aware, however, that Brian offers less step-by-step practical wisdom in favor of overall parenting principles. If you prefer the nuts-and-bolts approach, then I definitely recommend The Total Transformation, James Lehman's result oriented parenting program for frazzled families.
This is an extensive CD program outlining straightforward and proven parenting concepts. It is especially helpful if you are already experiencing challenging discipline situations and need to make changes NOW.
The thing to remember is that when it comes to parenting advice or
"wisdom", there are no mysteries here. Look for tried-and-true
results-oriented ideas and try them out for yourself. In my experience,
these words of wisdom for new parents apply to all of us as we grow along with our children.
Enjoy your kids.
One of the greatest
side benefits from using this type of wisdom is that your parenting self-confidence will
soar and you will genuinely enjoy parenting your children.
Let me tell
you, children who are enjoyed, thrive. They are happy and
self-confident. And they love to be around you! What a wonderful payoff
for your investment in your family.
Parenting is genuinely hard work. It can be scary at times. And there
are no guarantees. You will face moments of frustration, anger and
disappointment. But if you make a commitment to invest wisely in your
family, to make your family a priority in your life, you can be
rewarded with many gifts that money can't buy.
Isn't that what we all want as parents?
Colleen Langenfeld is a mother with over 29 years of parenting experience and helps other busy moms around the globe at www.paintedgold.com.
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