My new Community Wisdom series will offer articles and quotes from the Internet community to help you in your parenting journey.
I created this series because I believe that most parents want to learn all they can about parenting, so they can do the best job possible. I decided to create a place where I could share some of the posts created by others that have resonated with me.
These articles are intended to inspire, encourage and maybe challenge you a little. I do not believe there is any right way to parent. All parents have to decide what is right for their family. Still it is my hope that I will be able to offer you some wisdom from the on-line parenting community that will help you forge deeper relationships.
This month’s topic is MAKING CHOICES.
“May your choices reflect your hopes not your fears.” Nelson Mandela
1. Exploring Effortless Decision Making
How do you make a choice when you’re stuck at a crossroads and don’t know which way to go? How can you decide when two or more possibilities seem equally good? Leo Babauta at Zen Habits explains the principals of effortless decision-making. This is a way of making decisions without getting stuck or paralyzed with fear. I found his article interesting and thought provoking.
“Making decisions is something we do all day long, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. We build certain decisions up in our minds because we think they’re incredibly important, but in truth they’re rarely that big a deal. This isn’t the Cuban Missile Crisis — we’re not deciding the fate of a nation. See choice as an opportunity to learn, and you’ll be happy for every single effortless decision that comes your way.”
Read more at Effortless Decision Making
2. Do you ever compare yourself to other parents and wonder if their parenting choices are better than yours?
This article by Kate at Picklebums made me smile – I appreciate the way she reminds us that each family has to make their choices and it’s okay to be different. I also like the reminder that we can still respect those families that choose a different parenting path from ours.
“We will never all agree on the all the eleven zillion choices and decisions we have to make as parents, and that’s ok.”
Read more at It’s OK to Make Different Choices
3. Helping children learn how to make good choices
Every parent wants to help their children make good choices and take responsibility for their actions. This article from Ariadrine Brill at Positive Parenting Connection offers some very practical suggestions to help parents guide children as they learn to make decisions. I really welcome Ariadrine’s gentle and positive approach.
“Children learn to make good choices by making their own choices. Children need the chance to make choices and yes, they may make mistakes, stumble, need help or another chance but that is ultimately how they will learn the skills that they will need to navigate life later on.”
Read more at How Children Make Good Choices.
4. Making Choices About How to Use Our Time
Our time is a limited resource. This means our days have a limited capacity and we have to make choices about how we use that time. The choices we make about the way we use our time can make a huge the difference to the level of tension in our families.
I have a hard time saying, “No”, so this article by Courtney Carver at Be More With Less was really helpful. I really like the idea that we can say NO to the things that don’t really matter so we have time, energy, motivation and passion to say YES to the things we care about.
“Everyday you have hundreds of chances to say yes or no, and every time you say yes when you want to say no, you cheat yourself and the project, or person you said yes to”
Read more at Say No So We Can Say Yes
5.What about those times when we make the wrong choice and mess up?
We all had those terrible, awful days where everything goes wrong and we end up feeling like the worst parent on the face of the earth. Don’t you hate those days? Alissa at Creative With Kids has written gentle article about letting go of the guilt. It is encouraging read from a mother who has been there.
“We work so hard to be good parents and we come down so hard on ourselves when we fall short of the expectations we set. What would happen if we talked to ourselves more gently? What if we gave ourselves some of the same grace, or some of the same forgiveness that we give to our children? Is there a way to let go of that guilt?”
Read more at How to Let Go Of the mom Guilt (note: this article is good for dads as well).