Possibly the most important and challenging role you will ever fulfil is that of parent. It is also possibly the one for which you are least equipped.

Learning to be a parent is like learning to dance, you will never know all the steps and the music keeps changing. You just need to know the fundamentals and have the “Emotional Maturity” to be flexible. It is essential to develop this Emotional Maturity as often, in our frustration, we run the risk of lashing out and blaming our children for our problems.

So what are the fundamentals of parenting?

1. Children are your responsibility not your possessions. If you doubt that then please show me your purchase slip.

2. Your children do not owe you anything that you have not earned. They are not "cheap labour" there to do the things that you don't want to do. Nor are they guests just along for the ride. There should be a fair sharing and rotation of tasks and responsibilities.

3. You make no sacrifices for your children, you fulfil your obligations to them. Sure you may have to go without some stuff because you have incurred extra expenses by having children. But just remember they didn't ask to be here. You brought them here.

4. Raising and protecting your children is your responsibility. You should NEVER give that role to someone else unless you have verified that they are competent and willing to accept that responsibility.

5. You cannot, and you should not, try to captain their ship. Your role is that of a lighthouse giving them advise and showing them the way. (accept that they will not always follow your advise. Did you always follow your parents advise?)

6. You are to provide a safe harbour for your children. Think about it, is your home a “Safe Zone” or a “War Zone”. If your children didn’t “have to” would they come home?

7. Your role is not to undermine and control. Your role is to support and guide.

8. You have the responsibility to be their role model. They learn many of their coping skills from you. What are you teaching them?

9. Above all you must love your children. Many times you will not like what they do, but always remember that it is the behaviour that you dislike and not the child.

10. The best thing that parents can do for their children is to love each other. And if you can’t do that then at least don’t let your children feel that it is their fault.

Remember that your children did not apply for this role. You brought them into existence now you have the responsibility to nurture them and to prepare them for their future.

I gladly accept and respect my role as parent. I know that the best thing that I can do for my community is to raise my children to become valuable, confident and participative members of the community


Author's Bio: 

A professional speaker and trainer, Johan delivers exciting and empowering presentations, seminars and workshops.

Johan has the ability to make the most complicated subject easy to understand and the most sensitive subject easy to deal with.

He is the author of:
"Thoughts to live by" Vol 1 and 2 compilations of 99 specially selected inspirational and motivational messages; and
"A Practical Guide to Employee Management" a complete "do it yourself Human Resources guide.

You can get more information, and subscribe to "Instant Inspiration / Timeless Wisdom" at http://www.motivate.co.za

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