When it comes to parenting, there is one rule that I keep in the back of my mind. I go to it every single time I approach my kids.
It’s my Golden Rule.
It is THE Golden Rule….Treat my kids the same way I would like to be treated.
It’s that simple.
I try very hard to put myself in their shoes and be respectful of their feelings, time, and work.
Here’s what I mean.
I don’t make them stop playing without prior notice. I let my three year old finish or prepare him for stopping at least 20 minutes in advance. I do this because play is his work. When I’m working, I get angry and frustrated when I’m interrupted. Kids get angry and frustrated when they get interrupted too.
I don’t tell them how to play. Again, play is their work. They get to decide how they want to do it. I don’t like someone breathing down my back or telling me how to do things, when I’m working, so I don’t do it to him. I follow along in their play, and let them decide if I can join and what my role will be.
I’m respectful in the way I talk to them. I try very hard not to yell…but sometimes I do. When I do I always apologize.
I don’t get into power struggles and force them to do things. I provide choices and they get to decide. My 3 year old doesn’t have to put on a jacket if he doesn’t want to. I provide the jacket, he decides if he wants to wear it. How am I to know if he’s cold or not? I don’t want anyone demanding that I do something, I prefer choices too. (This does not mean we don’t have rules, we most certainly do!)
I use kind words and talk nicely about them to others.
I keep my promises. I don’t lie. I don’t hit.
I listen to them.
Am I perfect, and do this all the time? No. I make mistakes and royally screw up sometimes, but I try.
Simply, I treat them they way I would like to be treated.
The best part of following this rule? Children will listen more, yell less, and be more respectful too.
Because really, the only way to get respect, is to give it first.
See my other Parenthood Mantra Here!
Welcome to The Sunday Parenting Party!
Here are my three favorite posts from last week.
Parenting a Strong Willed Child: Routine Changes – The Educator’s Spin on It
5 Easy Ways to Encourage Positive Behaviors from Children – Teaching Little Learners
It’s All About the Process – Stir the Wonder
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Theres Just One Mommy
What a beautiful rule to follow! Your kids are lucky to have you!
Love, love love! The only thing I might do differently is the with the coat example. If it’s below a certain temperature I would require a coat. Sometimes boundaries or rules are needed because we (adults) are more experienced. As long as the rules are consistent and respectful, most children adapt well and come to appreciate them. Like adult with a handbook at work, kids need some structure/routine to feel safe and comfortable. Then they can focus on being free & creative.
Hi Joyful. I tend to agree with you about the coat thing. I will ask that they wear one in really cold temperatures. However, if they give me a really hard time with it, I don’t mind using a bit of natural consequences and letting them feel how cold it is without a jacket. I will have it available, and I doubt it will take long for them to ask for it.
I could not agree with you more about boundaries, and structure. Even though I do give lots of choices, we have a schedule, rules and boundaries around here. I, like you, believe they are necessary and that kids do so much better with them. I also really love natural consequences though!
Totally agree – although am not always successful in this. Hey, I’m human Try again tomorrow…
I pretty much agree! I have a post with a really similar title with my own tips for peaceful life with kids so I have linked it up 🙂
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and it really hit me in the face. I have to do this to my son in order to have harmony inside our home. I am really thankful for reading this piece of article of yours.
Thank you so much for your comment. Finding peace in a home with children can be difficult, but totally achievable. So glad that the post spoke to you.
Good rule Amanda. Danke