This morning I ran across an old journal that I had written in exactly a year ago. I've never been a consistent journal-writer (I've never been a very consistent anything-er for that matter), but I do love when I run across things that I've scratched out and tucked away in the past. They make me smile, and remember what I was thinking about at the time.
This entry wasn't so much of a journal entry, but instead was more of a list. I remember that I was thinking at the time, how I love how my ideas about parenting are always changing and shifting depending on the stages that my children and I are in, and our own unique strengths and talents. I remember looking at the beautiful quilt on our bed, and thinking how much parenting is like a big beautiful quilt. We take these little scraps of ideas-- ideas from our own childhood, ideas from trial and error, ideas from watching others, and try to work them in. Hopefully looking back on our relationship with our children through their lives, we will see a beautiful patch-work quilt. I remember thinking that I wanted to save some of my ideas about parenting along the way, so that I would remember where the different pieces came from.
So here is my list from 2012, "My Ideas for Parenting":
-- Music is one of the best ways to show love and compassion even before children are born-- use it as much as possible-- sing to them-- light a candle and sing them to sleep-- rock them and sing when they are sad-- make up a song that talks about how much you love them and hum it when you want to express that love.
Singing and music are like reading-- you need lots of exposure to it in order to love, appreciate and become fluent in it. Music can serve a person their whole life-- use to to teach-- play the classics-- get a CD player for their room-- dance and let them internalize the rhythm.
-- Simplify your space as much as possible. Get rid of toys and watch how it changes the way they play. Buy good art supplies, sturdy building materials and some dress-ups. If you do have toys, make sure they are open-ended. Kids really don't need much-- sticks, boxes, rope, dirt.
-- Let them play outside in a natural environment as much as possible. It is the best kind of play and engages all their senses and encourages physical activity, coordination and strength. Plus they get some sunshine.
--Play games with them-- let them make up their own games and play with them-- let them have uninterrupted imaginative play and try to keep it going and keep them engaged in it.
-- Work is play for young kids as well. Let them work beside you while they still want to.
-- Read everyday to them. Visit the library every week. Let them choose their own books. If you start early and pick great books, your kids will love reading. Tell them stories about yourself and about them.
And that was my little list of my ideas at that moment about parenting. It really hasn't changed much in a year. But I can't wait to hear what my future self thinks about parenting when they are teenagers. :-)
Loves from Vegas.