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Be a Parent: Five Mantras. Your Only Hope for a Long and Happy Relationship with your Child

A father sent me this email the other day:

Want to be a great parent? Remember these five mantras:

1. Stop Parenting.
Stop using parenting as a verb, as in “How should I be parenting my child?” Those parenting books on your bedside table—put them on a shelf and replace them with a novel.
2. Be a parent.
3. Have a relationship.

The relationship that began at birth—let it build and grow as you interact and learn from each other.
4. Be your dynamic self.
Learn. Listen to your own genius, let it guide you in helping your child learn the requirements of her environment, and let yourself be changed.
5. Have fun.
Notice, delight, respond, conflict, challenge, inquire, define, love, and watch how the child’s unique character reveals itself to you. Notice how that character is driven by some ineffable inner voice, her own unique genius.

Even as she grows increasingly independent of you, she will always be interdependent with you. Allow yourself to be interdependent with her (as in “Hmmmm.”)

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6 Responses to “Be a Parent: Five Mantras. Your Only Hope for a Long and Happy Relationship with your Child”

  1. janetlansbury October 5, 2011 at 9:36 am #

    Thanks for nailing it, Rick! Be yourself and let your child be him or herself. See the person in your baby right away. Relate honestly and respectfully. Enjoy each other. This makes for a great parent and a happy one, too. It’s all about the relationship.

  2. Rick October 5, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

    Thank you, Janet. Knew you would like it.

  3. Gary Gruber October 6, 2011 at 3:39 am #

    Good stuff Rick! Here is my contribution:
    1) Tell the truth and in so doing model honesty and integrity.
    2) Be kind, gentle, loving and forgiving.
    3) Remember to say please and thank you.
    4) Get out of the way and let them make inexpensive mistakes, even fail on occasion.
    5) Set limits and boundaries so they can do the same.

  4. Aleijuan King October 6, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    Thanks, Rick. Glad to see you continuing with this very – potent – important work. Sounds kinda like: Be easy and trust in what you’ve imagined/created. That’s a life lesson, parent, or no. All the best!

  5. Rick October 6, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    Well, there you go. I guess there are 10.

  6. Michelle Service October 14, 2011 at 8:02 am #

    Thank you! For helping the mommies and daddies be Moms and Dads..

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