Parenting Post – Linda Marten MSW

Advice from a “Veteran” Parent

1. SELF CARE & SELF RESPECT: two essentials for raising kids for 18 years or more!
a. Our example is the most powerful influence on our kids.
b. Kids learn more from our failures than our successes.
(example: how we deal with death, divorce, job loss, marriage problems, etc.)

2. KEEP LEARNING: no one has all the answers
a. Learn from your mistakes
b. As your kids get older, let them take more responsibility & learn from their mistakes too.
c. Try to understand & appreciate your child as a separate person of their own, not a replica of you.
d. Focus on your child’s strengths. Accept & work with their difficulties.
e. Focus on your strengths. Accept & work with your difficulties.

3. STRUCTURE & FUNCTION: the benefit of routines & habits ~
a. Have a bedtime routine (eg. Bath, brush teeth, read or sing to child in bed)
b. Getting ready for school morning routine (eg. Alarm, bathroom, get dressed, breakfast, backpack, off we go)
c. Family time (meals, Friday Family Night? Board Game Night?)
• Time to disconnect from Tech & re-connect with family
d. Study quiet time (don’t call it homework, try “your studies” or “assignments”)
e. Time for friendships & fun & being outside in Nature
f. Time for hobbies, sports, etc.
g. Time for quiet reflection, to do nothing, to just be. (A day of rest)

4. TAKE TIME TO BE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT WITH YOUR CHILD.
a. They will be grown before you know it & childhood will be over.
b. Listen more, talk less.
c. Let them teach you.
d. Relax. Breathe.
e. Take breaks. Go for walks. Come back refreshed.
f. Remember: FEAR = False Expectations Appearing Real
g. You will always be the most influential person in your child’s life.
h. What you teach them, mostly through your example, will be with them the rest of their lives.
i. You don’t need to be perfect, just be willing & open to keep learning.
j. Accept that life is often difficult and try to lean into it as best you can.
k. Be willing to ask for help.
l. Know you’re not alone, even though it feels like you are.
m. Everyone has struggles. No one is exempt from pain.
n. There’s no such thing as a “perfect family” with no problems.
o. Problems are gifts in disguise. As the saying goes, “With all this sh– there must be a pony in here somewhere!”
p. Keep a kind sense of humor. (Don’t take yourself too seriously. Be willing to laugh at yourself and learn from your mistakes. Then your kids can do the same.)
q. Remember: The journey of parenting is the journey of self discovery.
r. Enjoy the ride.

www.culvercitysymphony.org

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