Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Parenting Plan

Do you have a parenting plan?

Most people really haven't put much thought into their parenting style and face each challenge as it comes - you know, how we live our lives?  How can anyone have a plan when life is crammed with so many different variables?  But here is the secret successful people would share with you - they DO have a plan, surprises are all met with the same game plan.  Successful parents do the same thing - they have a plan.

A parenting plan involves a statement of your parenting style - do you see yourself as strict, easy going, focused on formal education, wanting to give a broad base of experiences?  There is no correct answer to this question, it will be as individual and the people involved.  It has to do with you and your partner's personalities and personal experiences.  It will be based on reflections of your parents, both good and bad.  It will involve your views of politics, religion and society at large.

The second part of this equation is to describe what that parenting style looks like.  If you see yourself as "strict" what would that involve?  Does that mean rigid rules enforced with corporal punishment or does it mean you're going to have curfews for your teenagers? (uh, yeah, let's look forward to consider what our lives will be like with teenagers underfoot)  Some people think any rules at all is "strict" others think rules with wiggle room is "easy going".  So say it, define it. 

Some people can't define something so vague as a style or theory.  Instead, pluck out parenting situations you know people struggle through (catching stuff from TV is a decent source) and describe how you would handle it - either the same or differently.

People fail to discuss these matters with their partners and most never do so BEFORE the babies arrive.  If you're expecting your first baby, NOW is the time.  If you have no plan set for your parenting future, at least say out loud how you see your own parenting style.

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