Friday, September 25, 2009

Six Commitments of Effective Parenting

Yesterday I went to the first meeting of a moms group at a local church. Linda Vujnov (rhymes with Rhino), gave a speech entitled "Raising Kids to be Like Dick and Jane Instead of Bratz" wherein she outlined six commitments of effective parents.

She prefers the word "commitment" because it's tough to raise kids well. It takes energy and purposeful action.

The six commitments are:
  1. Optimism (aka perseverance aka hope in Christ) -- though the challenge of parenting is daunting, it's too important to ever give up hope. Thankfully, we have God on our side to give us wisdom, new reserves of energy and to carry on to the impossible after we have done all we can possibly do.
  2. Interest -- Show interest and give kids periods of undivided attention regardless of whether they are in the "Mommy, mommy, watch me!" phase or the "Mom, do you have to be here?" phase. When faced with competing good/necessary demands on your attention, simply call out to God for help.
  3. A peaceful home -- Peace doesn't necessarily equal quiet, but rather a SAFE place where each member of the family can be themselves, escape and release stress. The key foundations of a peaceful home are the parents individual relationships with God and a strong marriage.
  4. Fun -- joy, silliness, laughter, playful parenting, singing, relaxation, games
  5. Encouragement -- kindness, edification, using words wisely to build up rather than tear down
  6. Discipline -- Discipline means guidance and correction. It must be done delicately as to not crush spirits. The most effective discipline method is to catch kids doing things RIGHT.

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