To-Do List For Parents, Written by Kids Just Like Yours and Mine

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Do you wish you knew what your child was thinking about you as a parent? Are you struggling with your confidence as a parent? Do you sometimes feel like you are not doing enough to help your child become a responsible member of society?

Well, I know how you feel. I have felt frustrated and discouraged as a mom and grandmother of young children. As a parent educator and family coach, I have found that parents all over the world wish they knew what the most important things to do each day are. From my experience teaching families all over the world, most of us struggle with the same problems and want the best for our children.

This is a small to-do list for busy parents from information I have learned from experience, observation and study. If your toddler or young child could communicate what he needs to you, these are a few of the things he or she would share.

1. Don't expect perfection whenever I make a bed, draw a picture or throw a ball. My legs are short and my body is small. Slow down so that I can keep up with you. I can't do the things you want me to do, unless you teach me how. Learning is a process and takes time to master skills. Encourage my ability to keep going and trying again when I make mistakes or fail to accomplish a task the first time.

2. Teach me to love learning by letting me taste, touch, smell, hear, see and experience things. Read, sing and talk to me every day. My eyes have not seen the world as yours have, so explain how things work. Please let me explore and I may teach you some things you never knew or have forgotten. Don't restrict me unnecessarily or expect me to learn from the television.

3. Answer my questions or say, "I don't know, but let's find out together." I'm only little for such a short time. Please take time to explain things to me about how this wonderful world works, and do so willingly. If you ask me what I think, I will develop critical thinking skills and a curiosity that will last me forever.

4. Please be sensitive to my needs. My need to feel safe and protected are tender and my heart is soft. I believe you when you call me names or give me labels because you know me better than anyone else in the world. I trust you to tell me how to become a kind, thoughtful and loving person.

5. Don't punish me for telling the truth. Please help me to be responsible for myself by holding me accountable for my actions, giving me guidelines to live by and disciplining me in a loving manner. Teach me with natural and logical consequences when I make wrong choices. It is okay to let me fail sometimes, which is how I will learn from my mistakes.

Remember the most important work you will ever do is within the walls of our home.

Good luck with your important calling as a teacher to the young children in your circle of love. I know you forget sometimes, but you have the most valuable job in the world. You will never regret the time you spend with your family, and especially the young children who look to you for guidance and support.

Judy H. Wright is a parent educator, family coach, and personal historian who has written more than 20 books, hundreds of articles and speaks internationally on family issues, including end of life. You are invited to visit our blog at www.AskAuntieArtichoke.com for answers and suggestions which will enhance your relationships. You will also find a full listing of free tele-classes and radio shows held each Thursday just for you at www.ArtichokePress.com.

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