Ten valuable tips for parents about parenting

by Mary Ann on February 20, 2011

happy family images

Families are important

At the end of November I began a pilot with seventy one families to test out the Spark Station Mastery Course. On February 15 the pilot ended. That last conference call was sweet and sad! I am going to miss my weekly conversations with some of the best parents around!

I have been so amazed by the love I have seen in parents for their children and families. I have been touched by their efforts to learn new skills and put them into practice.

I have made some interesting observations about things I already knew and have had reconfirmed. I want to share them with you.

1. Parents, really good, caring parents, are too hard on themselves. They are so willing to focus on their perceived failures and inadequacies and to neglect to celebrate their successes. Whatever we focus on we get more of; so focus on your successes.

family reading time images

Focus on your successes

2. Parents, women in particular, are plagued by the 100% devil. If they don’t feel they are doing it all then it must be a failure. What is forgotten is that success happens 1% at a time. There is no quick fix.

3. When parents feel they are behind or not making enough progress in learning a new skill, the temptation is to quit. Don’t quit. Remember that real results in anything come 1% at a time. Slow and steady wins the race.

grandparents cycling pictures

Don’t quit; learning and change take time.

4. Accountability when setting goals helps you achieve them. When you are venturing into new territory, making significant changes, treading where you have not gone before, then you need support and accountability. Get a group or even one other person that you can share your failures and successes with that will help you keep your promises to yourself and not quit.

5. Loving our children is not enough! Love doesn’t keep us from focusing on runny noses, messy bedrooms, spilled milk or vomit and other frustrations. Love doesn’t keep us from seeing our children as problems to be solved instead of people to understand. That takes a change of heart and new eyes to see!

family get together pictures

Children are not problems to solve or irritations to get over.

6. When parents decide that being present matters and make even the smallest effort to give the gift of themselves to their children magic happens. It does! Every time.

7. Families are too busy with good things. They are so busy making sure their lives are filled with good things and that their children don’t miss out on anything, that they have a difficult time taking care of the BEST things. Families need time, at home, with one another, to really thrive.

father son outdoor photos

Don’t be too busy. Families take time.

8. Homeschool parents tend to be perfectionists and that sometimes allows them to fall into the trap of taking what they hear and throwing it whole hog into their families. They tend to go overboard. Remember it is your job to take what you hear, think it through carefully and then utilize what best suits your family; don’t over do a good thing. If one pill is good it doesn’t mean that 10 are better!

9. Planning ahead does not mean the death of flexibility or spontaneity. It just guarantees that you are prepared for whatever happens and when you are working with children that is a must.

family picnic pictures

Don’t forget to plan ahead.

10. The real truth is, when we make an effort to get better at anything, our intention brings positive energy to us. It does make a difference in our ability to make change. So no matter how inadequate you feel, how big the problem seems, start! The first step is the key to the door of change and the first few steps are always the hardest.

I want to send my love and appreciation to those seventy one brave families that took this journey with me. Continue on, you are wonderful.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jody Jarvis February 20, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Thank you for allowing us to share this journey together!



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