Because I’ve been thinking about this a lot, I decided to start a list; both to keep my thoughts in order and, later on, to remind me of where I began.  This is, of course, a work in progress.  I’m sure I’ll add and change things as I go, but I think I got the basics down of what is important to me.  (BTW, I’m referring to children in plural because I do hope to have one more kid down the line.)

My Top Parenting Goals – (maybe I should name it my parenting manifesto)

1.  Protect my children at all costs; but understand the difference between protection and suffocation

2.  Give them a loving and nurturing environment; strive to keep dysfunction to a minimum

3.  Build open lines of communication and trust

4.  Teach my kids how to think for themselves and to question everything (even me) because it leads to richer understanding

5.  Teach them how to stick up for themselves but know when to ask for help

6.  Instill a sense that there are many sides to every story; try to teach them about compassion but also have them understand that there is personal accountability

7.  Share the wonder and beauty of the world with them; start as early as possible

8.  Be honest about the ugliness and the potential dangers (without scaring them; this will probably come a little later)

9.  Be a role model; this includes having a life/career of my own (outside of “mom” but not detrimental to parenting) so I can be a real-life example of someone who is comfortable and happy with themselves

10.  Raise nice kids, who are polite (I just can’t abide rudeness)

11.  Teach them the value of working hard and to understand the value of money

12. If I see signs that my children are becoming spoiled (i.e. acting entitled for the things they receive) or disrespectful, adjust MY behavior so that this is corrected

I hope, by attempting to achieve all of these things that what will follow are happy, confident, healthy kids who are interested in the world around them.  This is my ultimate goal.  And as I said, this list is only a beginning.

Anything I’m missing?            – the weirdgirl