5 Must Do’s in Parenting


Part of being a good parent or one who is intentional in their parenting is teaching your kids to be good people, creating a genuine character that will carry them far in life.  The best way to do this is to be a good example. When your kids see that you are doing the things that “good people” do, they will automatically catch on.

You don’t have to be Super Woman, or Mother Teresa, you just have to practice responsibility, kindness, compassion and caring. Depending on your own beliefs about what it means to be good, and perhaps the influence of your faith, being a good person might not be exactly the same for you as it is for someone else.  That is why believing in yourself, your ability as a mom and knowing your family best is important.  This is exactly what I share in, “Becoming the Confident Mom You’ve Always Wanted to Be.”

You are your kids first and main teacher.  It carries a bit of pressure, or at least I think so!  Often I fail with being the example I want for my kids.  I blow it – yell, loose my temper, say ugly things – yep, that’s me.  I have gotten better over the years and learned techniques that help with diffusing my escalating frustration, but I am still very human and blow it.  Then I apologize and ask for forgiveness, over and over again.

But there are some things to keep in mind as you progress through your parenting journey, which will help keep you on track for training your kids.

Teach your kids about gratefulness

While your family may not have everything as far as material possessions go, you probably have lots to be grateful for. I can often get caught up in the everyday too and forget to be grateful for what I have and have been blessed with. It’s important to show kids that while life can sometimes be worrisome or disappointing, there are still many good things to be happy about. You can take the lead by expressing happiness about all the good things you have and avoiding too much complaining about what you don’t have.

Sharing with my kids the days when my health is ‘cooperating’ is one example of a gratefulness that has nothing to do with a material item.

Teach your kids about responsibility

As adults, we have to be responsible for a number of things. If we don’t take responsibility, we can suffer some fairly uncomfortable consequences, like penalties for not paying bills on time, or the consequences of not showing up for work on time. You can do your best to set a proper example, and talk to your kids about what it means to be responsible. As they get older, you can give them tasks to be responsible and consequences, both positive and negative, for choosing to be responsible.

In life there are already many consequences set up for being responsible and making the ‘right’ choice.  In nearly every choice there is a logical positive or negative consequence, the sooner your child learns this the better.  As I came away from visiting my daughter at college and shared some things with me that she was experiencing over the last few weeks, it was hard to see how her choices led to some unpleasant outcomes.  Standing by and allowing those consequences to spill out is hard…..but necessary.

Teach your kids about kindness

Being kind involves feeling empathy for others, or putting oneself in someone else’s shoes. It means reaching out to others with a smile or a friendly word.  If you are involved in a home church, this can be seen with the different ways to serve others and volunteer both your time and resources.

Treat others with respect

You’re children will learn that treating each other with respect is an important element of being a good person when the see you doing it.  We often think getting respect has to be earned, but I’ve found that when we offer respect to others, even our kids, we are giving the example of how this is to be shown.  As my kids have gotten older, I am glad I took this approach.

Be compassionate and caring

Show your children that compassion for others is easy to show and makes a real difference in the world. You can participate in a charity as a family by contributing to food banks, visiting nursing homes, even helping with park clean ups (compassion and caring for the earth). You can offer to help an elderly or disabled neighbor plant some flowers, or take a batch of cookies or a homemade casserole to someone who is recovering from an illness.

The possibilities are endless, so many people need assistance, it just takes us to make the first move to offer.

It is hard to be the best example all the time, but realize that what you do in your home now effects your kids forever.  Slowing down, re-organizing thoughts, routines and systems in order to truly be the right kind of example is key. Please don’t take this post and turn it into your own guilt trip party – this is just a gentle reminder for us all!  No one is perfect and we all need reminders!

How do you re-set when things get off track?  

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