It is the time of year when many of us are making resolutions. Some want to break habits such as smoking, overeating, or drinking. Some want to develop habits as reading more, exercising more or parenting better. If we fail to break these goals down into measurable steps, chances are we may fail. A while back a colleague’s husband wrote down a parenting pledge that is specific and meets children’s needs.
The Parents’ Pledge
“As a parent my greatest wish is that my children will have a life filled with happiness and the joy of loving; therefore, I will always try to understand and fulfill their needs.
I. Through touching, I will show my children that they are loved so that they can give throughout their lives.
II. My children need not earn my love for I will give it freely without reservation or limit.
III. To help my children become self-confident, I will teach them with encouragement, not criticism, and I will always try to emphasize their good qualities.
IV. To build confidence and help my children mature, I will encourage them to do for themselves things they can do.
V. To prevent my children from being fearful, I will try not to worry or protect them more than is necessary.
VI. I will try to remember that my children are not my property but separate people whom I may guide but must gradually set free.
VII. I will teach my children that they must not be overly concerned with others’ opinions of them so they will learn to think for themselves.
VIII. In order that my children will learn to value their own opinions and ideas, I will listen to them with interest and respect.
IX. To teach my children respect for authority and to develop their self-discipline, I will insist in a kind but firm manner that my instructions be obeyed.
X. Realizing that my children will imitate me, I will always try to be a good model for them.
XI. To teach my children tolerance, I will try not to judge, condemn, or find fault with others.
XII. I will not give my children more than they should have, lest they become wasteful and demanding.
XIII. I will teach my children to share and consider the needs and feelings of others so that they will become kind and generous people.
XIV. I will teach my children that gentleness is not weakness and that they should share their feelings with those they love.
XV. I will show my children that I love sons and daughters equally, and I will not condemn sexual love so that they may enjoy it when they are mature.
XVI. I will teach my children that they will find happiness through giving love, not through seeking it.
I now that I cannot be a perfect parent, but in order to protect my children from emotional problems and help secure a happy life for them, I will always try to meet these needs.
Finally, I wish for my children to know that they are a joy to me, a gift of the universe.”
The late Dr. Robert Alan Webb
I challenge you to consider making resolutions this year that are specific about your parenting attitudes and actions.