Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Parenting Re-soul-utions

It must be the end of the year and my brain must be tired, because everyone else seems to have such great ideas. Instead of racking my brain for something creative, I am sharing the...

2011 UrbanMommies parenting resolutions. (my edits, but with a link at the end).

1. I will say no to other people when I cannot stretch my family any further. And, when appropriate, I will say no to my child even if it means a big tantrum will happen.

2. I will sit cross-legged on the floor every day and play blocks, have a tea party, read books or just talk to my kids.

3. I’ll use the time driving in the car to ask my kids questions.

4. We’ll play different music every once in a while and I’ll do a Google search on Beethoven, Country Music or Gregorian Chants as we listen so I can explain the music to my child.

5. We’ll sit around the table as a family for at least one meal per day.

6. Medical, dental records and our emergency contact list will all be organized.

7. We’ll look at our family budget.

8. I will watch the news for 10 minutes daily even if they protest that Dora must stay on the TV. Even though I’m a busy parent, I need to be connected.

9. I’ll identify the 3 reasons why I am a great parent.

10. Even though they are picky eaters, I’ll still try to slip in quinoa, veggies and wheat germ where I can to enhance their diet. When I shop I’ll add good things to my healthy pantry.

11. I’ll try to remember that unstructured days in your PJ’s can be just as important as scheduled activities.

12. I’ll try to ask for what I need – from my partner, friends, family and my kids.

13. I’ll show through example that charity is important.

14. We’ll do a few more things in a greener way – use more baking soda for cleaning, plant some seeds, or start a compost.

15. Every person in the family will try to unclutter.

Even incorporating a couple of these into your weekly routine could help you, the kids and the planet.

So... I first read this and thought, "Wow! I should do all of these!". The list does have some wonderful ideas on how to be a better parent. Then my real brain kicks in. When did it become such a "job" to raise a family? When did we start thinking of the effort that we should be putting in, instead of this being a natural part of our life? Why do we act like raising a family should come with a set of instructions, and we are either doing things right or wrong? And do we really think that raising our kids is isolated from the rest of our life?

Yes I should broaden my views, but I shouldn't be listening to different types of music solely for the benefit of my child. Of course, music, and various forms of it, should be a part of our life, but if we include it just to check it off the list, haven't we missed the point?

Do I have to tell myself to sit on the floor and play? If I want to engage with my child, isn't that something I would automatically do?

I like to garden, so the compost and planting seeds is something we always do. And Scarlett likes it too. But, if this was something I despised doing, would going through the actions for her benefit, have a positive benefit?

Won't our child see how we get excited to do things that we feel passionate about and learn from that?

I did like the mis-print in the title (intentional or not). That was the first time that I thought of re-soul-utions as returning to our soul.

Happy Parenting (and parenting choices) in 2011!

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