Please consider joining with millions of parents around the world who are making a commitment to parent with purpose. To celebrate International Parenting Commitment Day with your family consider implementing one of the following celebrations/rituals.
Convene a family meeting. Propose that the family design a pledge that reflects your belief that feelings of oneness and a sense of belonging are important in your family. Include the importance of placing family first, honoring each other's uniqueness, and the security of family structure somewhere in your pledge. Allow all family members to have input by inviting suggestions and reaching a mutual consensus on the pledge. Display your pledge prominently in your home.
Principles of work
Create a poster to display at you work site. Include beliefs you have about how you want to "BE" during your work time. Include items such as treat others with respect, listen to other's ideas, encourage others, and keep confidences private. Put at least 10 items on your Principles of Work. At the top add, SUCCEED AT HOME FIRST. Share your work principles with your family.
Goal setting evening
After your children are in bed for the evening, set some family goals with you spouse. Pick two or three to focus on for the upcoming year. With each goal you choose, list activities you can do that will help you move in the direction of accomplishing it.
Goal: Use self-responsible language with our children.
- Eliminate the words "Makes me" from our language patterns. Change "You make me mad," to "I am feeling angry about this."
- Use the words "choose/decide/pick" over and over with our children. We will say, "I see you chose to help your brother," and "If you choose to throw the toy you will be choosing to give it a rest on the shelf for awhile."
- We will stop "shoulding" on our children. We intend to replace our "shoulds" with "coulds."
Buy two helium filled balloons. Write several parenting concerns on file cards that have troubled you recently. Also fill file cards with parenting stressors, situations that you create stress around with your children (loud radios, poor table manners, etc). Attach the cards to the balloon strings. Go outside, say a prayer asking God to take your stress and concerns and handle it in a way that achieves the greatest good for all concerned. Communicate your desire to be free of stress. Take a few deep breaths. Release the balloon, you concerns, and your stress into the air. Watch as the balloons carry your problems away. Feel lighter after having let go of all that stress.
A warm-fuzzy is a compliment (written or verbal) that is given to another person. Why not begin a warm-fuzzy clothesline in you home? Have each family member decorate clothes pins in their own image and write their names on them. Hang them on a clothesline that you place in a prominent spot in your home (kitchen or den wall). Use the clothespins as mini-mailboxes to share notes of encouragement, affirmation and praise with one another. Model this technique by sending at least one a day yourself.
Use this special day, March 20, to re-connect with your children by celebrating your mutual caring using one of the rituals above. When you do you will be demonstrating the importance you place on the sacred role of parenting. Enjoy.