This week’s post continues exploring the 13 steps for rearing a happy, healthy child, which incidentally turn out to maintain a happy, healthy adult. Part 1 covered the first five steps: boundaries, high expectations, unconditional love, accepting your humanity and theirs, and apologizing when warranted.
6. Remember who’s the boss. Perhaps this is more childentric in that children need parents when they are growing up. But if you look at this from the perspective of there’s a season for every purpose, there is a time to boss yourself. Isn’t that what gets you up and moving out the door on the days you want to stay in bed and hide from the world? As a parent of young children you need to be the boss as you help guide them on their way to adulthood, giving them the tools you believe necessary for them to forge their way in life. As an adult, the boss becomes choice. The choices influencing the course of your life.
7. It’s not necessary to do it all. Just because it’s out there doesn’t mean they have to do, nor you. Think of your life as one big supermarket. There are all those different departments: produce, meat, dairy, bakery, etc. When you walk into a supermarket, is it with the intent to buy everything in the store? Of course not. Is it your intent to buy everything within each of the various departments? Again, no. So it is with life. Just because there are an endless number of things you can do in your life, you don’t have to do them all. Pick and choose experiences that resonate with you, intrigue you, entice you and you will go along way to getting your Magic Moments (leading to a rich fulfilling life).8. Keeping a household running. There are certain actions necessary to keep a household running smoothly. Chores they are often called. In truth, there are certain actions required to keep any endeavor going, be it personal, financial, work, or other. And while it’s great to have the attitude of “I only do what I want,” if you want to live in a house, have a personal relationship, have your finances in order, have a job/career/avocation, there will be parts of achieving your end goal you’d rather not do. Do them anyway.9. Simple is Good. Somewhere along the line we’ve come to equate complicated with intelligence, complex with value, and long-winded with importance. In an age of complexity, it’s good to remember simple is good. Young children are often happier with the box a gift came in than the gift itself (particularly if the gift is molded plastic requiring batteries). In an effort to keep up with or surpass the Joneses, Kims, Wongs, Gonzales, and all the others in your life, remember how often the simple gift of time, listening to another, being with another, listening to yourself, being with yourself, can do wonders for your soul (and theirs.)10. It’s okay to cry. Crying doesn’t solve problems. True. However, crying is an emotional release, be is joy, frustration, anger, hurt, or anything else. Releasing that emotion can be cathartic. It is analogous to lancing a boil. Once you let all the pus out, the irritation causing the boil can heal. Release your emotions through tears, you have a chance to heal. Children do this naturally.
Part 3 will cover
11. Creating memories
12. Rituals and religion — making sense out of chaos
13. Sometimes there’s nothing to say
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