- Thou shalt look after yourself. Make a commitment to putting your needs first, kind of like putting on your oxygen mask first on an airplane, or the old saying: If your cup is empty, you cannot fill anyone else’s. Take care of yourself well and you will thrive for your kids.
- Thou shalt make LOVE a verb. Of course you love your kids. But do they FEEL loved and do they KNOW they’re loved? Make sure you tell them and show them too.
- Thou shalt make quality time. Not quantity time. It’s not the hours that you spend together that count, but the minutes when you really give them your undivided attention.
- Thou shalt show respect. If you want them to respect you, especially as they grow older and turn into teenmonsters, you must demonstrate respect for others, as well as respect for them in order to get respect in return.
- Thou shalt teach emotional intelligence. Equip your kids to express their feelings fluently, allow them to learn to self soothe, and show them that their opinions matter by really listening.
- Thou shalt dig deep. Bad behavior usually comes with a reason…find out what that is. When you address the underlying reason for acting out, then you will be able to deal with the symptoms. It’s also another opportunity to connect.
- Thou shalt guide, not punish. In short, lead by loving example, rather than by fear of punishment. Motivate your children with the carrot (which represents rewards) and not the stick (which represents punishment).
- Thou shalt choose your battles. Don’t fight everything or you will live in a state of war. It’s ok to let them win the little things, once you don’t lose sight of the big picture strategy.
- Thou shalt be compassionate. Love big, love deeply and there will be plenty to go around. Don’t let your day to day frustrations keep you frustrated daily.
10. Thou shalt never be perfect. No one is perfect. There are no perfect parents, no perfect children, and no perfect families. But there is your family, and that’s the one that counts.
Adapted from Ahaparenting.com.