Even parents need occasional reminders on how to be a loving, responsible parent to children, from the day our children are born and even into adulthood.
Taking a look at how our children view the world in general, and their perceptions on our parenting skills, can help parents improve their communication style that builds self-confidence and self-esteem in children that are necessary to succeed in life.
Ten Commandments for Parents:
1. My hands are small; please don’t expect perfection whenever I make my bed, draw a picture or throw a ball. My legs are short; please slow down so that I can keep up with you.
Remember, it’s our parental responsibility to teach and train our children how to do even the basics of life such as, how to make a bed, how to brush their teeth properly, how to prepare simple meals, how to dust and vacuum, but not expecting perfection in each task. As children learn each new life skill, give them opportunities to practice these in your own home, so young children and teenagers can feel good about themselves and build confidence in their own abilities.
2. My eyes have not seen the world as yours have; please let me explore safely; don’t restrict me unnecessarily.
It should go without saying but, this advice does not include allowing our children such a wide berth of “freedom to explore” their surroundings in such a way that might put children at risk of being harmed or abused in some way.
3. Housework will always be there. I’m only little for such a short time-please take the time to explain things to me about this wonderful world and do so willingly.
4. My feelings are tender; please be sensitive to my needs; don’t nag me all day long. (You wouldn’t want to be nagged for your inquisitiveness). Treat me as you would like to be treated.
No matter how busy we are as parents, taking care of the home, jobs and other duties, make sure you are taking/making the time to really listen to your children. Physically stop whatever you’re doing when your child wants or needs to talk to you, rather than thoughtlessly telling children you are “too busy right now”, making sure you are giving your child undivided attention and looking directly into their eyes when they are speaking.
5. I am a special gift; please treasure me as my Creator intended you to do, holding me accountable for my actions, giving me guidelines to live by and disciplining me in a loving manner.
6. I need your encouragement, not just your praise to grow. Please go easy on the criticism; you can criticize the things I do without criticizing me.
7. Please give me the freedom to make decisions concerning myself. Permit me to fail, so that I can learn from my own mistakes. Then someday I will be prepared to make the kind of decisions life will require of me.
8. Please don’t do things over for me. Somehow that makes me feel that my efforts didn’t quite measure to your expectations. I know it’s hard, but please don’t try to compare me to my brother or sister.
If you have the tendency to give your child a chore to do, but continuously follow closely behind to re-do the chore “your way”, you might need to consider if you are really helping or enabling your child’s efforts to grow and fully develop.
9. Please don’t be afraid to leave for a weekend together. Kids need a vacation from parents, just as parents need vacations from kids. Besides it’s a great way to show us kids that your marriage is very special.
Taking and making time to be alone with your spouse, over a weekend trip or during “Date Night” away from the kids, is beneficial for children as well as for married couples. It’s so easy to get bogged down with various aspects of daily living that we may find the fire and romance in marriage once enjoyed, before the kids came along, begins to slip away from us.
10. Please set a good example for me to follow in all the ways of life. I enjoy watching the things you do and want to do them just like you do.
The old saying, “Children learn what they live” couldn’t be more true, so make sure as parents that the attitude and behaviors children learn are the ones you really want your children to exhibit in their lives.