4 Essential Rules for Raising Amazing Children

The following post is from Kat of Inspired To Action:

photo credit: Karina

Rule 1 – Inspire them.

Imagine buying a workout DVD and getting all ready for your first workout.

When the instructor comes on the screen, she’s sitting in a recliner with a bowl of ice-cream and in between mouthfuls she shouts, “Alright, now do 20 push ups!” “Oh, hold on, I need a napkin. This ice cream is really drippy!” “Ok, now 30 squats!”

Would you listen to her or ignore her and turn the TV off, uninspired?

It’s hard to listen to someone who’s telling us what to do, if they’re not doing it themselves. Even if what they tell us is something we know is good for us…

Our children want us to lead the way. The WANT to look up to us. Let’s do hard things, live life outside of our comfort zones and give them something to look up to.

Mothers are leaders. We can’t just tell our kids where to go, we have to lead them there.

…but we do NOT need to be perfect. Read that 10 times in a row. It’s important.

Done? Let me say it again. You do not need to be perfect. In fact, having “perfect” parents can be very intimidating for a child. Instead, just focus on consistently growing. Nothing inspires like persistence.

Evaluate your situation:

  • Are you where you want to be?
  • Are you heading toward where you want to be?
  • How can you get there?
  • What is holding you back?

Additional Note
There are a lot of things I’m extremely not awesome at. (How’s that for a sentence?) But they are things I want my children to be exposed to and move towards. So, I do whatever I can to bring people into our lives that fill in my “gaps.”

Teachers, instructors, older kids, friends, books, movies. I want to surround my children with people who inspire them and make them believe that they are made for more than tween shows and video games.

Rule 2 – Set goals and give vision.

A few years ago, I trained for the biggest race I’d ever run, a half marathon. I was very underqualified, but I trained hard and grew my endurance. As a warm up, I even registered up for a local 10K race.

I knew it would be challenging, but I never expected that it would be infinitely more difficult than the half.

You see, the 10k was poorly organized, extremely hilly and worst of all, there were NO mile markers. The race switchbacked over and over. There were unending turns and hills,  and I had no idea if I was about to finish or still had miles and miles to go.

It was the hardest race I’ve ever run, simply because I couldn’t tell how far I’d gone.

Goals are simply mile markers in our lives. They help us “finish the race” well, they keep us on track and encourage us with small victories.

Goal setting isn’t just for adults, the super organized or business people. It’s for everyone. We can have a vision of who we want to be, but unless we have simple mile markers along the way, we are likely to stall from discouragement and frustration.

Adjust Your Situation
If you’re not where you want to be, write down your dreams. Then break them down into simple yearly and monthly goals. Make a plan. Then walk your kids through the same process.

Rule 3 – Believe in them and talk like it.

Honestly, this one is hard for me to remember to live out. I’m a fixer. I want to teach (lecture) and fix (nag) something when I see that it needs to be changed.

I can get caught up in the moment, in the little, annoying or rude things that my children do on a day to day basis.

But I have to remember, they haven’t been around for very long. They need my grace and faith in who they can become rather just my label of what they are right now.

Rule 4 – Everyone is different.

You are unique. Your family is unique. Each of your children are unique. The rules aren’t going to be the same for every family. It’s ok if one of your children isn’t fitting in a box. Or if a parenting tip doesn’t click with you.

Keep reading, learning, and trying.

What is one thing your kids do because of your influence?

Kat blogs at Inspired To Action, a site dedicated to helping moms develop the habits and skills they need to effectively manage their homes and raise children who are prepared to change the world. Kat loves music, running, technology, Jesus and Tex-Mex food. Not necessarily in that order.