Saturday, March 10, 2007

The A,B,C's of Parenting with love from Suzy

A is for Accepting your child for who she/he is and honoring his/her spirit
B is for Balance. I think it's very important to maintain balance in your life and your child's life. Do what it takes to maintain balance - you will be much happier.
C is for Consistency. It's very important for parents to be consistent with their children. Kids need to know what to rely on. It helps when both mom and dad are consistent too! :-)
D is for Discipline. Some child psychologists believe consequences are a better alternative to discipline. I have found that to be true with my children.
E is for Education. Educate yourself about whatever it is you need to make a decision on and make a decision. Never look back. Give your child the best education available.
F is for Family Traditions. I think it's great to have family traditions that the family can look forward to each year. This is what many children remember about their childhood.
G is for Guide. I believe parents guide their children. They are who they are and it's up to parents to help guide them (not change them) in a safe and secure environment.
H is for Health. I place a lot of emphasis on health and modeling for our children what healthy behavior, diet and habits are.
I is for Intuition. Trust your intuition. You know what's best for your child. Act on your instincts and trust that you know what's best for your child.
J is for Joy. Be sure to experience the joy of the child. Children are inherently joyful and their enthusiasm is contagious. Enjoy him/her. Kids are a joy to be around at all ages
K is for Kids. Kids are so much fun and so much work all at the same time. No other job will provide so much joy and heartache than being a parent!
L is for Listening. Listening is such an important part of parenting. Make sure you have a time each day when your child has your undivided attention. You'll learn a lot!
M is for Moderation. I believe that being too extreme about anything doesn't serve the child well.
N is for No. I find it's helpful not to say no too much to a child. Find other ways to communicate your desires (creatively) without saying no too often.
O is for the Outdoors. Be sure to expose your child to the wonders of nature and enjoy the outdoor environment. Sometimes that's the best way to calm a cranky child.
P is for Planning ahead and being Prepared. Always bring extra wipes, diapers, snacks, etc. You never know what might happen and you can never be too prepared with a child!
Q is for Quiet time. I believe every child needs some quiet time each day. And trust me, mom and dad could use it too.
R is for RELAX! Kids are far more resilient than you can imagine. Take a deep breath when things seem to be difficult and realize it will not last forever. Nothing ever does.
S is for Structure. Most children do best when they have structure to their day.
T is for Truth and Trust. I think it's always important to tell the truth to your children. It's okay for the child to see that you are human with human tendencies too.
U is for Unconditional Love. As a parent, you really experience what unconditional love feels like. It's beautiful.
V is for Values. Understand which values are most important to you and consciously find ways to impart those on your children.
W is for Wrong and Right. There is no right or wrong in parenting. You do the best you can with the resources you have. There's no such thing as a perfect child or perfect parent.
X is for eXtreme. Many books tend to be extreme in their recommendations. I suggest moderation (see M) as opposed to extreme approaches.
Y is for YOURSELF. Be yourself. Maintain your sense of self. Being a parent is a big responsibility and it's important to be "serving from a full platter" so to speak.
Z is for Zest for life. Enjoy!

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