My wife shared a blog post with me from Zen Habits which has really given me some food for thought. I have had to really wrap my head around this one and writing this post has helped me do just that. My first time through Leo Babauta‘s post: The Rules of Effortless Parenting; I thought it was a great set of rules, but that it is a bit of a misnomer to call it” effortless”, because in truth that parenting in that manner requires a degree of effort on our part as parents. I made that point with my wife at the dinner table last night. My wife disagreed with me. She pointed out that all the rules are more natural and easier to do if you let the parenting come naturally. Which is something that I hadn’t considered, and not at all the way most of us parent. We get so focused around school curriculums, sports practice, and sometimes just fitting our kids into our day; that we don’t let parenting come naturally we kind of force it. So I had to go back to the list of rules and think about it again. I am inclined to agree with my wife, though I still don’t think parenting even if it comes easy and naturally should be effortless I think that effort should be expended in the pursuit of excellence.
I think of the times that I have done yoga, the instructor always seems to be able to do things with their body that even on my best days seem impossible to me. I have no doubt that some day I will be able to perform some of the poses that I cannot today, but if yoga has taught me anything it is that when I get there there will be new more challenging poses that await me. I think that holds true for parenting we can work to a point that the basics are easy and natural and that when we get there we will face new more difficult challenges requiring renewed effort.
Here is Leo’s list with my notes:
1. Teach kids to be self-sufficient. – Afterall we don’t want them to rely on us forever someday they will have children who will rely on them.
2. Teach older kids to help with the younger kids. – The sign of a great teacher is when the student begins to teach
3. Teach them to solve problems. – They need to know how to solve problems when we are not available.
4. Show them how to be passionate. – They need to learn to follow their bliss.
5. Play with them outside, and be active. – A strong/healthy body is the perfect partner to a strong/healthy mind
6. Don’t overschedule. -Too many deadlines means more opportunities to fail
7. Don’t dote. – Everybody needs a little breathing room
8. Dance. – Sometimes the groove hits a pocket and your body just has to move don’t fight it surrender to it!
9. Read with them, and read in front of them. – Nothing opens the mind like a good book!
10. Be inquisitive. – No innovation ever came without a question to set it up
Read the original post on the Zen Habits Blog Here: The Rules of Effortless Parenting