Ten Guiding Principles of Parenting For Myself

A work-in-progress post.

1) Lead by example.

We influence our children in many ways. We need to set a good example for children to observe and learn from. Action speaks louder than words. We can better convince our children when we lead by example and practice what we preach.

Actionable steps:

Review our lifestyle and life attitudes from time to time to practice what we preach to our children.

Think about how we would prefer our children to behave and make decisions and apply the same to our own behavior and decisions.

2) Instill Godly values.

3) Develop focused mind.

Actionable steps:

Limit screen time as much as possible, for as long as possible.

Do not disturb when they are focused on a certain activity.

4) Spend quality time as a family.

Actionable steps:

Be mindful of devices grabbing my attention away from my children when we are physically together.

Make meal-times and bed routine times devices free.

Spend more money on experiences as a family and less on physical toys.

Be loving but set boundaries.

Give freedom when it makes sense. “Do you want to wear blue or red shoes?”

Practice whole brain parenting. (Left and right, upstairs and downstairs brain.)

5) Emphasize perseverance to overcome challenges in life.

Actionable steps:

Praise efforts over intelligence.

Emphasize patience and delayed gratifications.

6) Maintain their curiosity and develop a love of learning.

Children start by having a natural curiosity of the world. Maintaining this natural curiosity allows them to seek knowledge on their own. Kids in this era have an abundance of knowledge at their fingertips due to the internet. The key is the initiative to seek out the knowledge and then apply the knowledge creatively. Having the right values become extremely important to prevent them from seeking out the wrong knowledge.

Actionable steps:

Always answer their “Whys” with thought and sincerity. If we are unsure let them know so and suggest that we will seek out the answer to their queries.

Develop a love of books. Visit the library frequently and let them choose what books to borrow. Encourage reading for a breadth of topics.

7) Develop a habit of embracing problems and more importantly to solve problems.

Actionable steps:

Let them solve problems themselves first before offering some guidance. We can prompt them for possible solutions but do not offer to solve the problems for them. Encourage them to resolve problems “Sean, I’m sure you can solve this. Could it be the xxx?” After they partially or fully solved the problem, praise the effort. “Sean you did a great job/great work”. If they failed to solve the problem, “Sean that was great effort. I’m sure you will succeed soon.”

Use the “What is the hard part?” approach

8) Encourage them to create, experiment and tinker. Embrace failures but learn from it.

The habit of tinkering and experimenting leads to the natural ability to create something. Failure is neither good nor bad. Failure allows us to learn and be a step closer to success.

Actionable steps:

Provide the opportunities for tinkering and experimentation in a variety of domains.

Encourage the creation of anything: YouTube video, book, a piece of art, music, research etc.

Always remind them that failure is neither good nor bad. Failure allows us to learn and be a step closer to success.

9) Teach proper money concepts.

10) Expose them to a variety of activities to help them discover interests and develop interests.

Whenever they develop a keen interest in a particular area, encourage them to dive deeper into it and seek to create something. 10,000 hours would be the general rule of thumb to gain mastery in a particular area. Of course, some other factors such as aptitude, opportunities, and luck influences mastery and success but hard work pays off most of the time.

Actionable steps:

Expose to music and learn musical instruments if keen.

Play all sorts of sports with them.

Be mindful not to overload with activities (especially structured sessions). Children need downtime and playtime to remain creative and healthy.

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