This year, our children are beginning seventh grade, tenth grade, and the first and last years of college.
As they get older, they talk more about things making a difference in their lives.
As I learn from my children, here are five essential parenting principles making a difference in the lives of our children:
- Lessons children learn are often things we minimize. As my children are reaching adulthood, values they’re choosing are influenced by little things I minimized. Certain books and stories we made available to them during their childhood years have significantly impacted their decisions and beliefs, along with principles and traditions I didn’t even realize we established.
- Being intentional about activities and time with children is important even when you’re tired or busy. For me, the days of reading before naptime are gone, but my kids remind me that intentional one-on-one time is still important. It may not be as easy as a five-minute read, but it still feeds the soul in similar ways.
- Time to connect is essential, no matter how fleeting or “uncool” it is. As a school counselor, I’m challenged at how disconnected families are becoming. Being present with each other doesn’t mean being in the same room together. Engaging in conversation and making eye contact is becoming a lost art. Being engaged with our kids is the new extra-curricular sport we need to learn how to play.
- It’s important to live with honesty and integrity in front of our kids. It’s not always the easiest and requires humility. But it’s worth it. Kids need these character traits modeled at home because home still has the greatest influence on their lives.
- It’s important to pour your family values into your children. Children need intrinsic values and truth. They crave them and need them in their lives for a moral compass in a rapidly changing world. Make the time to invest these into your family life.
What are your parenting principles, making a difference in your family life?
How to you impact your family in large and small ways?
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