I found this on line today and it really spoke to me. I know that I can put it into practice (I often say things that I should not say) and I know the boys could too. I am leaving Kate out here because honestly...she pretty much only says sweet things (as of now).
I also came across this fabulous parenting article. I am not a perfect parent by any means but this article does sum up how Dave and I try to parent. As a marriage and parenting coach, I firmly believe one of the biggest mistakes American (middle and upper class) parents are making is doing too much for their kids and giving them too much. I could go on and on about this but we make our kids work. Harry has a car washing and detailing business right now. Will volunteered ALL summer and will be working very soon. All my kids fold and put away their own laundry. As a rule, we do not give/buy them things unless it is their birthday or Christmas.
Also, we try to let them make their own mistakes. We all learn by FAILURE. When I think back over my own life, it was the mistakes I made that have taught me the most. Why are we so afraid to let our kids make mistakes? It builds resiliency and character. It makes them GROW! When we let our kids take risks, it shows them we have confidence in them. Luckily, I am still making mistakes everyday and I try to look at them as opportunities to learn and do better next time. I must have a lot of growing to do.
This is one of the reasons I love letting my kids go to sleep away camp. They are in a safe environment where they can take risks (trying new things) and make choices (what to use their store allowance on--junk food vs a t-shirt). If they want a schedule change, they have to wait in line to make it. Sure these are small things but they pave the way for bigger decisions on spending money and taking risks. And no parent is there to bail them out or make the decision for them.
This picture of the peanuts kind of represents how our life is....messy and imperfect (the seaweed) and the waters are a bit choppy but there is also a lot of beauty and a lot of love.