A (stoned) Mother’s Guiding Principles
You know that saying that old ladies tell you when you’re totally overwhelmed with naughty children, “Ah, the days are long but the years are short.” Yes. We KNOW. We get it, fuck. Meanwhile there’s spaghetti in your hair and you can’t find your kid’s shoes.
Today I’m taking the role of smug old lady and sharing my parenting principles. Notice I said ‘I’. That means it comes from my perspective, which is unique to my family. Every family, every stoner mom out there has a different life and set of goals. These are mine.
The most important figure in any child’s life is the same-sex parent. This is a critical fact to remember. There is no greater way to parent than by example. It is true no parent is perfect, but some parents truly don’t recognize the importance their example plays in their child’s life. Knowing how crucial our attention and care is to our child is the first step to the peaceful and purposeful parenting.
Our home is above all else, a soft place to fall. Treat the home as a sacred sanctuary. It is every family members responsibility to keep up the peace and safety of the home. From the language that we use, to the way the house is kept up. There is no hostility here. No screaming or slamming of doors. Always stress the importance of our family home, that this is where we are all safe and accepted.
Make clear communication a priority for all family members. This includes using realistic words, having and respecting boundaries, and making sure everyone feels they are being heard. Communicate with their ages in mind. With four children in the house, we have a range of personalities, capabilities, and learning styles.
If you aren’t being consistent then you are not communicating clearly. It is so so SO important to be consistent with our kids. Say what you mean, adhere to your words, be committed to the family. Consequences should be proportional to the offense and applied consistently.
We are raising adults, not children. Parent with an end game in mind. The whole challenge of parenting is preparing them for the reality of adulthood without tarnishing the wonder of childhood. Think of the adult you want to send to college some day, and prepare your child to be that adult. I have ten years left until our two oldest are 18 years old. Ten years is not that much. Have a plan to get that kid where they should be in ten years.
Don’t be a dinosaur. Don’t parent from the past. Never find yourself unwilling to hear someone else’s point of view. Realize that as your experience changes, so may your opinions in life. Don’t close yourself off to people, ideas or emotions. Adapt as your knowledge as a parent expands. We are always learning, maturing, learning new ways to handle new frustrations. Our children are learning to be adults at the same time we are learning to be parents.
Don’t rush anybody. There is no hurry. To make sure this happens schedule in buffer time for all family members and keep a routine that fosters calm and preparation and not rushing and chaos.
Work to achieve balance and proportion in their lives. Mental health is as important as physical. Have an appropriate proportion in all aspects of parenting. Freedom/restriction, fun/discipline, nature/technology, rest/action, education/play.