|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.
- 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.
Bill Dillon (KG4QFM)
Pat Watt (KG4QFQ)
This page was last modified on
August 9, 2009
Copyright 2005 The Trouser Rollers. All Rights Reserved.