The other day one of my friends asked me about our parenting philosophy, and why our kids are so well adjusted. I was flattered, and didn’t quite know what to say. I don’t think that Jon or I have ever explicitly spoken about our parenting philosophy. Is that strange? Maybe others of you out there have a philosophy, or a way you do things. We feel so often that we are just learning as we go, and our kids are a part of that journey with us.
After the moment, I reflected on this, the more I believe that we probably, although unplanned, do have a parenting philosophy. We talk with our kids about a few things consistently that I hope are lessons that they could keep in their life for a long time: 1) being healthy and happy; and 2) making good choices.
1. Helping our kids be healthy. One of the most important things that Jon and I want to teach our kids is about making healthy choices. We tell them often about the choices we are making (at least the good ones!), and how they make us “healthy and happy.” Most notably, this is how we talk about going to the gym, heading on a bike ride, eating salads and getting good sleep. I am hopeful that by them hearing and seeing these things from us, they will pick them up in their life. I had a proud parental moment last week when Katharine was telling me that she shared a few of her favorite things with her teacher Miss Cournti….going to the gym, skiing and biking. Win!!! I can only hope that this continues.
2. Helping our kids be happy. In reflecting on this one, I think the way that we are helping our kids learn to be happy is by showing them how. This is not to say life is happy-go-lucky in every moment, but I am hopeful by celebrating what is happy, they will see so many ways that they can make their own life this way.
3. Helping our kids make good choices. If there is one thing that I have learned as a marketing professional, it is that language is everything. Early on with our kids, Jon and I decided to use the language of “choices” within our parenting. If something goes wrong, a tantrum, one of them hitting the other, we talk to them about how that isn’t a “good choice.” I love what these words stand for. We all make choices about how to act and live our life, and those choices have consequences both good and bad. By helping our kids to understand this early, we hope that they can learn to be in charge of their own destiny.
Sounds prettty philosophical to me!