Three Rules for Myself

My three core rules for good parenting/teaching. These are rules for myself, and they arose after many years of observation, stumbling and mistakes. They may not be a fit for everyone. You will have to decide for yourself.

Whether it's playing with your children, going outside for a walk, or telling a story, always remember Rule #1 - do it because you want to. If you seek to connect with your child, DON'T do it by forcing yourself to play dolls or build sandcastles that you don't want to build. Find a way to make it fun for you.  And if eating healthy is important, buying green or watching less TV - make sure that's what you want and not just something you've guilted yourself into for the kids. This is my number one rule. If I don't like the game or the activity, I don't do it. The kids always have the freedom to do it on their own. But if they want me to be a part of it - then I have to enjoy it. The authenticity that comes from this far outweighs the rare occasions when we disagree. This will sometimes take time to find the activity, or style of activity, that suits the two (or more) of you, but it's worth every effort. Even a two-year-old knows when you're feeding them bull****. Give them the real thing. You.

Whether it's playing with your children, going outside for a walk, or telling a story, always remember Rule #1 - do it because you want to. If you seek to connect with your child, DON'T do it by forcing yourself to play dolls or build sandcastles that you don't want to build. Find a way to make it fun for you.

And if eating healthy is important, buying green or watching less TV - make sure that's what you want and not just something you've guilted yourself into for the kids. This is my number one rule. If I don't like the game or the activity, I don't do it. The kids always have the freedom to do it on their own. But if they want me to be a part of it - then I have to enjoy it. The authenticity that comes from this far outweighs the rare occasions when we disagree. This will sometimes take time to find the activity, or style of activity, that suits the two (or more) of you, but it's worth every effort. Even a two-year-old knows when you're feeding them bull****. Give them the real thing. You.

Tell a child what she can't do, and you have an instant conflict. Tell her what she can do, and she has options. This rule extends through every aspect of life - to dogs, cats, adults, and self.

Tell a child what she can't do, and you have an instant conflict. Tell her what she can do, and she has options. This rule extends through every aspect of life - to dogs, cats, adults, and self.

I often come upon the children doing something imaginative or unique, and then want it for myself. I want to be a part of it, take a photo or make a comment. But I've learned that even positive attention tends to pull the children out of their fantasy and reduces their magical world, if only briefly, to sticks and stones. The play stops and pivots on comprehending or responding to me. More often than not they pick it back up, but sometimes my attention, even when positive, is enough to break the spell for good. So I've learned - don't interrupt unless I have a good reason to do it.

I often come upon the children doing something imaginative or unique, and then want it for myself. I want to be a part of it, take a photo or make a comment. But I've learned that even positive attention tends to pull the children out of their fantasy and reduces their magical world, if only briefly, to sticks and stones. The play stops and pivots on comprehending or responding to me. More often than not they pick it back up, but sometimes my attention, even when positive, is enough to break the spell for good. So I've learned - don't interrupt unless I have a good reason to do it.