There is a toddler in the grocery store line wearing shiny red fire boots with his pajamas. He is hanging from the shopping cart with abandon, his hair hanging down toward the floor, his nose sticky and laughing hysterically. In the cart there are several boxes of cereal, milk, fruit and hot dogs. There are also Pop-Tarts, fruit roll ups, marshmallows and Goldfish. Pushing the cart is a young mother with sweatpants on and a pony-tail in her hair. She ignores the squeals of the toddler and the looks of the other shoppers as she rushes to pay for her groceries. Was this her plan for raising children?
Flush with a newly printed college degree and certain in the love of her intended husband, she probably had the perfect idea of how to create a plan for raising children. She is a smart, independent woman who can clearly see how the raising of children should be done. She is modern in her ideals and has chosen a mate who will be logical and sensible and in perfect agreement on how to raise their children.
How to Create a Plan for Raising Children
Watch others and decide what not to do. For instance:
Never let children dress themselves when going out in public.
Always have children wear clean, matched clothing.
Children should always have clean faces.
Never let the television be a babysitter.
Children should always say Please and Thank you.
Children should be respectful of adults.
Children should be fed only nutritious, healthy foods and NO Sugar!
Children should nap and sleep when expected.
Agree on Rules
Rules should be based on years of note taking and watching other people's failures at parenthood. Take the best and agree on them as the parents of the household.
There will be no hitting or spanking in the house
There will be no yelling
Parents will always agree on disciplining the children
The family will eat all meals together
The children will play sports and be academic
There will be 2 children, one boy and one girl
Throw Out all Notes and Rules
Everyone wants to know how to create a plan for raising children. It is how we feel that we are in control. But part of being a parent is realizing that having children isn't a controlled situation where certain rules and ideas will always work. Parenting is a work in progress and it is the joy of the chaos that allows it to be an experience that is worthy of the effort.
Sometimes there is nothing funnier than seeing a child who has dressed himself in his Spiderman pajamas and a fireman's hat pretending to be a hero. This is imagination at work and something that he wouldn't get to use if he lived by the rules.
Though healthy, nutritious food is certainly something to strive for in every child, there is a nothing like seeing the grin of a child who is tasting his first roasted marshmallow. It is the surprises that make life fun.
Throw out all the rules created before having children. Let love, joy, tenderness and humor guide the way. Healthy, happy children will abound.
Gary Pearson is an accomplished niche website developer and author.
To learn more about raising children visit Raising Children Online for current articles and discussions.