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If you’re interested in learning some incredible life lessons, become a parent! Being a parent is filled with daily chances to learn some of life’s most important lessons.

Just Go For It

The first thing I learned was that I was never going to feel prepared to have a child. If I wanted children, I would simply have to take a leap of faith that it would all work out somehow. I really had no idea what having a baby encompassed … the never-ending work, the inconsolable crying, being sleep deprived … and falling so deeply in love that I would do whatever it took for that baby.

For decisions of the heart, it is better not to analyze the situation too carefully before just going for it!

Behave the Way You Want Others to Behave

When I realized how carefully my children were watching my every move and often imitating me, I was motivated to become the best role model I could be. I learned that by treating them with respect and teaching them to treat me with respect, they treated their friends and teachers with respect. By showing compassion to them, they showed others compassion. I saw my behavior reflected in their behavior.

Allow children’s constant surveillance to bring out your finest behavior!

Enjoy What You Have When You Have It

The days are sometimes long but the years go by fast. Nowhere is this truer than raising children. Rocking a crying baby until the wee hours of the night can seem to stretch on forever. Yet it seems in the blink of an eye that same baby is headed off to kindergarten. Enjoy every stage because it will be gone before you know it.

There’s no going back, so delight in every moment!

Seek Wise Guidance

Parenting is challenging in many ways. However, there is a lot of help available. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel or go it alone. By reaching out to other parents I learned that almost everyone is struggling with similar issues. By reading books, taking classes and attending seminars, I learned effective parenting skills.

Other people are usually happy to share what they’ve learned when asked!

Focus on Long Term Results

Parenting can sometimes be tricky because what works in the short term may cause problems later on. For example, bribing children with candy to leave you alone when you’re on the phone may work in the short term but it will also encourage more interruptions in the future. Avoid short cuts that lead to undesirable long term results.

The relationships we develop with our children affect us for the rest of our lives. There are loving parents who bent over backwards for their children only to have adult children who treat them poorly. We teach our children how to treat us; let’s teach them to treat us well.

The time and energy put into parenting pays back for the rest of your life!

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Kathy Slattengren, M. Ed., has helped thousands of parents from across the United States to Australia through her online classes, presentations, coaching and books. Parents excitedly report their success in replacing yelling and threatening with calm, confident responses. When your children’s behavior is really pushing your buttons, discover ways to set effective limits, invite cooperation and have a lot more fun together!

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