Tuesday 28 March 2017

Manifesto #1 | Parenting

At the beginning of 2017 I wrote seven manifestos; one on parenting, one about family, a personal manifesto, work, health, marriage and happiness. Writing down a list of principles to help guide how I want to live each day suddenly made everything very clear and simple. In just a few months they've improved so many things and, like everything on here, whenever I come across something that I think could be useful I need to share it! 

As the writer Gretchen Rubin says (who gave me the idea to write my own manifestos), "It’s a very valuable exercise. Whenever I try to distill my ideas into a clear, succinct list, I find that my understanding improves, and I have a much better sense of what I’m trying to do." 

This is my 'Parenting Manifesto', which has definitely given me a much better sense of what I'm trying to do..!


I am a role model in all that I do whether I feel like it or not.

Connect before I correct.

Go outside.

Let them be little.

Don’t expect too much.

Don’t have unrealistic expectations. 
(They’re not going to stay quiet for two hours in a restaurant!).

Stay calm. Don’t sweat the small stuff and don’t over-react.

Use the correct tone.

Try to say “yes.”
(Messages to kids can often be negative: “Stop,” “Don’t,” ‘No,”)
“Yes we’ll go as soon as you’ve finished eating.”

Rhyming repetition works. “Sit square in your chair”.

LAUGH! At least once a day try to make each child helpless with laughter.

It’s easy to be heavy: hard to be light – G.K. Chesterton.

Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.

Be a kind, loving, PATIENT Mum, and as happy as I can.

Act the way I want to feel. 
(If I feel tired act as though I have lots of energy - jumping on the spot is a great trick!).

Get 8 hours sleep every night. I can't function at my optimum if I don't get a good night's sleep.

The days are long but the years are short.

The easiest way to parent is to model the behaviour I expect.

My seven manifestos took a few weeks to put together, and are continuously changing. They're personal - what's important to me mightn't necessarily be important to someone else - but sometimes there may be a sentence or two on a manifesto that may jump out and be useful to others. 

My manifestos are a collection of words I want to live by, core values, and helpful principles to guide my behaviour. And from a parenting point of view, they have been an incredible help. Whenever I feel my patience with my children start to wane, or I'm frustrated about something, I think of my parenting manifesto and it immediately snaps me back to being the Mum I want to be. 

At times, especially when it comes to being a parent, it can feel like nothing I'm doing is working out. I try, I fail, I fail better. But this has been something that - from the beginning - has really worked, and has strengthened my relationship with my boys from the minute I started thinking about what to write down on the list. Like I said, it is something I wholeheartedly recommend, and really wanted to share. 

Onwards and upwards.

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