25 July 2018

The Five Parenting Facts

Parenting Facts #1: Parenting is a complicated game. 

The job description is actually very simple, but doing the job can be extremely challenging. 
Parenting is, in that sense, like the best games; they are simple to learn and can take a lifetime to master. 

Parenting Facts #2: Genes are a parent's biggest contribution to a child'’s life. 
The child’'s biology determines his/her disposition and disposition determines the limits of some unknown range of opportunities and possibilities that exist throughout the child’s entire life. 

Parenting Facts #3: Assertiveness is an advantage. 
No one knows what limits exist for anyone else (except in general terms like not being able to grow wings or sprout horns) so children who learn perseverance and determination to overcome illusory limits will be at an advantage.

Parenting Facts #4: Compassion is an advantage. 
Everyone knows that limits exist in the world and children who learn to respect people’s beliefs about the world (while overcoming their own limiting beliefs and/or understanding real limits in the world) will be at an advantage.

Parenting Facts #5: Parenting is about moral balance not correct behavior. 
Morality is ultimately about creating well-being. 
Expressing moral values is about enacting strategies to ensure the well-being of yourself and those with whom you identify (as family, friends, co-workers, or by culture, gender, species, planet, etc.) 
The fundamental parenting challenge is balancing the application of your moral values, knowing the real limitations in each situation, and meeting the legitimate needs of everyone involved.

Based on these five facts your job as a parent is to live a moral life and do your best to provide your children with a moral foundation for living theirs. 
Facts 2-5 are more broadly applicable to living and teaching, as well. 
The real questions that need to drive your behavior are: 
  • What are my moral values in this situation? What is the RIGHT thing to do?
  • How do I express my moral values (how do I create long-term well-being for everyone) in this situation?
  • How do I recognize when my behavior contradicts or undermines my moral values?
  • How do I change my behavior to be in better alignment with my moral values?

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