In 2007, I resolve not to teach my children to have a happy productive life, but rather to help them choose a happy, productive day. I resolve to help my children appreciate that there is no such thing as failure, only temporary results that they can use as feedback to determine their next step.
I resolve to fix problems rather than fix blame by maintaining a solution-seeking mindset and teaching my children a problem-solving process.
I resolve to aid my children in their struggle with autonomy by creating a balance of power through a shared control style of parenting.
I resolve to remember that I want children to behave in ways that reflect what THEY find unacceptable, not in ways that I, the parent, find unacceptable.
I resolve to welcome interpersonal skill errors as learning experiences and as important opportunities to implement consequences.
I resolve to parent in a way that demonstrates that I believe the only authority children take with them everywhere they go is their inner authority.
I resolve to allow my responses to my children to reflect a knowing that some lapses in self-control are developmentally appropriate. I will remember that they behave in certain ways because they are five or eight or fourteen years old.
I resolve to parent in a way that reflects my belief that the process is as important as the product.
When I am stumped and don’t know how to respond to one of my children, I promise to ask myself, “What would love do now?” I also intend to listen internally for an answer.
I resolve to recall that I can choose to see any parenting situation differently from the way I have been seeing it. I will remember that perception is always a choice.
I resolve to relax, while remembering that relaxing does not mean resigning.
I resolve to make my approach to parenting reflect the notion that raising a child is more about drawing out what already exists in a youngster rather than about putting in to fill perceived deficiencies.
I resolve to focus on the main purpose of parenting, the creation of who and what we really are as human beings.
I resolve to remember that “being right” doesn’t work.
I resolve to parent as if I believe that a child’s I AM (I am athletic, I am creative, etc.) is more important than his or her IQ.
I resolve to live today as if attitudes were more easily caught than taught.
I resolve to help my children and myself stay conscious of the choices we are making.
I resolve to remember the adage, “If you want a behavior, you have to teach a behavior,” and I resolve to put that adage into practice in my home.
I resolve to see the hurting child in the child that hurts others.
I resolve to “be” the change I wish to see in my family.
I resolve to talk less and listen more.
I resolve to remember that experience can be messy. I will allow my children to learn from the messes they make and the cleanup that follows.
I resolve to hold my children accountable for their actions and choices with gentleness and love. I will implement consequences consistently and allow my children to experience the related, respectful, reality-based consequences that flow directly from their actions.
I resolve to make myself dispensable and assist my children in becoming increasingly in charge of themselves and their own lives.
I resolve to refrain from making my children wrong for their choices, even as I hold them accountable for their actions.
I resolve to recognize that my children are in my life as much so I can learn from them as they are so they can learn from me. I will be open to the lessons my children offer me and honor them for helping me learn and grow.