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A strong foundation stabilizes everything, even parenting. It’s especially important when developing your parenting strategy. Having a solid base to draw from can accentuate the joys of raising kids and help get us through life’s more difficult moments. Luckily, we have endless information at our fingertips to guide us. However, sifting through it all can be daunting—making it difficult to figure out what fits into our personal style. With a little introspection, creating your foundation can be a little less challenging.
Here are a few things that might help:
Define your values.
Most of us have a pretty good idea of what we value. But have you ever taken the time to sit down and identify what is truly important to you? Creating a set of core values is a valuable exercise because it helps define a set of personal principles, leading to a greater understanding of who you are—and perhaps more importantly, who you are not.
Core values can also act as a rudder for our lives helping us to make decisions and stay focused on goals. Try it! You might be surprised at what percolates to the top of your list. You might even discover a fun acronym that reflects a favorite activity. My acronym is HIKER (humility, integrity, kindness, effectiveness, relationships).
"When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier."
Create a family mission statement.
Businesses do it all the time to focus their efforts. It can work well for families, too! Mission statements also provide a guiding light for decision-making. It’s easy to get swayed by the newest parenting fad, get caught up in what other families are doing or worry about your child’s “performance.” A family statement of purpose can keep you on track for what is right for you and your values. And when making decisions, ask yourself, ‘does this align with our mission (and values)?’ to help filter through the noise.
Keep a Growth v. Fixed mindset
Just because we are adults doesn’t mean we stop evolving. Development is a lifelong process. Each of us acquires new skills and unique needs based on the different stages of life we are in. While our values and mission can remain constant, how we carry them out in our daily lives may shift due to the changing needs of our family. A growth mindset allows us to be flexible in our thinking and allows us to embrace the changes that are inevitable in our lives.
Going through this exercise will give you good insight and help solidify your personal foundation. Sticking with it by living out your values and mission may even bring you closer to loved ones. Just remember, strong foundations build strong families. Creating yours early on will give you a roadmap and ground rules for guiding your family and making decisions – especially if you’re feeling unsure about what to do.
Remember to be kind to yourself and others.
Until next time,