Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Parenting Treatises

I stumbled across something in the notes section of my phone I wrote when Trajan was about 2.5 that I think is worthy of review:

Don't sweat the little things, know and stick to your big things, be willing to discuss and explain anything, including the big ones, even if it's the nth time.

To be completely honest, I've never really sat down and tried to think out or write out my parenting philosophy.  I know a lot of people who have and it seems like a really useful thing, but just never have and not getting there today.

I have however, identified a few basic elements that would compose my parenting treatises if I wrote them.  First is seek moderation.  In almost everything.  I really find that extremes just don't work for our family, so I really do consciously seek out the moderate path.

Second is own your choices.  It doesn't matter what they are, I think that as a parent I should be comfortable with them.  Even if they aren't something that I think most people will agree with or like.  While small children might force you to do this some since they present their reality honestly, I think it's important to make a conscious effort to be conscious of your decisions.  This also means you need to make decisions instead of just letting them happen by default.

Similar to owning your choices, I think it's important to consciously choose your battles rather than let them happen by default or through frustration.

Take these three ideas and roll them up with a conscious effort to not sweat the little stuff and choose to breathe rather than react and you've got my basic ideas.

I probably will never get around to writing a parenting treatise, but I think I'm on the right path to identifying what the key parts of it would be.  Probably plus some thoughts about how I recognize that my actions probably teach my children more than my words.  It may not be formal, but it works for us and I own it.


  1. I've never thought about actually writing out a treatise. I'm pretty sure that we won't ever have one, because if we did part of our treatise would be: spend time actually living, rather than planning how to live.
    That doesn't mean not giving thought to things or planning in advance, but I've seen too many instances of parents investing all this energy into theory and ideals. In the end, I'd rather invest that energy in life.

  2. Maybe we should write them after the fact. You know, to identify the things we did wrong, to help out our kiddos!

  3. Like as helpful prompts for future therapy sessions? :)

  4. Before I had them, I probably could have written a treatise. Now I think I can boil it down to 'by any means necessary'!

    Like the sound of yours.