Return to Lessons Learned
We each raised three kids before we got together, and are now watching them raise a total of 7 grandkids. Here's some of what we've learned so far.
Do Don't
  • Remember that all families are screwed up - it's just a question of how. As a parent, it's not all your fault!
  • Being a kid is really tough. When one of yours presses one of your buttons, try to haul out some empathy before responding.
  • Make the effort to maintain and nourish family connections.
  • Sit down and eat together at least once a day.
  • Notice your tone of voice as you talk to your kids.
  • Remember that every kid is unique and special - your own are no more so than anybody else's..
  • With appropriate input from your kids, come to agreement on the family rules - and stick to them.
  • Get in the habit of holding family meetings before making important decisions. Let your kids know what the issues are, and listen to and consider their feelings and ideas.
  • Help your kids keep and train pets.
  • Remember that family is the bottom line.
  • Love your kids, even if you don't always love their behavior. Separate their behavior from their unique human potential.
  • Attend a family constellation workshop so you get a better idea of how patterns from the past influence all families.
  • Invade your kids' privacy. You don't have to know everything that's going on in their lives. If you feel a situation calls for an invasion, be absolutely certain it's warranted before moving in.
  • When your kid does something you don't like, don't respond by acting like another kid.
  • Overparent. Remember that your kids are not you! Give them space to be themselves.
  • Become too busy to enjoy your child rearing time. Bringing a new human into the world, and raising it to adulthood is the most important thing you'll ever do. And the opportunity to child-watch is the greatest gift you'll ever get. Savor every moment because it'll be gone before you know it.
  • Treat your adult children as if they were still children.
  • Not train your dog. If a dog misbehaves, maybe it's your fault. You can learn a lot about raising kids from training a dog.
  • Never cut off communication with a family member because of what you are imputing to them.
  • Don't get stuck repeating the same mistakes your parents and grandparents made.

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Bill Dillon (KG4QFM)
Pat Watt (KG4QFQ)
This page was last modified on August 9, 2009

Home | Site Map | Cruising | Logs | Seminar | Writing | Growing Old | Photos | Nuggets | Contact