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Monday, September 9, 2013

Intentional Parenting

Heron silk
Why am I so interested in parenting? I have always believed that we have at least three choices as a parent. We can do it the same way as our parents, we can do it the opposite way or we can make our own choices. Over the 30 plus years in my practice,  I have noticed that  most parents choose to do it either the first or second way. Usually, by the time we become a parent, we are so  sleep deprived and working  so hard to keep our children safe and healthy that we don't have time to think about choices.

My own Mom was barely 21 when she had me and she parented from "the do it the opposite way" of your own parents.  I was almost 36 when I had my first child and I definitely tried to do it from the make your own choices but would default into the opposite zone as well.

The default would be most noticeable when my children's  had strong reactions to my parenting decisions.  How do we stop defaulting and start making our own  thoughtful choices? One important way is to take a step back and remember what it was that our parents used to do  in a similar situation.And then ask, is this something that we want to continue doing  or do we want to do it a different way?

For example, I was very strict with our children's diet. I had the  limited  sugar ( used to call it white death)  and  no fast foods rule when my children were young. My  children and their spouses  get to decide what they want to do with their children's diet. There were definitely some positive and negative consequences  to that rule. Let the decision be a conscious one and no longer the fault of our  parents.
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