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Hope is NOT a Strategy: Values-based Parenting

Youth sports are ruining my life. I CANNOT be sick today. Science fair (silent tear).

It's very easy for parents to get overwhelmed by the daily grind of family life. Some of us can't remember a time when everyone was in the house at the same time, never mind sharing a meal. Managing modern families is stressful, and we are pressed to do it just "right." We want our homes to look like a Pottery Barn Catalog, our kids must eat only farm to table food, and our pets not only need love, but a meaningful social life.

It's a lot. We all agree it's a lot. None of us know how to fix it. In the shuffle we forget the values that we truly want to guide our family. They are not based on what your colleague or neighbors are doing, or what you "should" be or have. Values-based parenting is about the goals you have for your children, and what you would like them to take into the world. It's important to decide what those goals are and how you will achieve them, because hope is not at strategy.

Not everything can be a priority, so it's important to know what yours REALLY are. Do you want your children to be kind? Successful in academics? Save the earth? Competitive athlete? Top-notch housekeeper? Social justice activist? Spiritually guided?

It's up to you to define your values- they are unique to your family and your experience.

1) Consider 3 values that you believe are necessary components of what you would like to teach your children. Does your partner or co-parent agree?

2) What is important about those values? Do those values work with the family you have, and not the one you "should" be?

3) Are you modeling those values?

4) How will you continue to incorporate those values in family decision making, discipline and daily interactions?

Next: Mindfulness Saves the Day

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