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rules to parent by

i found this list of parenting rules over at catapult magazine, and really liked them. now if only i could follow them...

A baker's dozen of the top ten rules for parenting
by Reverend Lawrence W. Farris

1. Have as few rules as possible but stick by them.
2. Do not have the television in your main living area. Limit television (and video games, if not utterly excluding them) to one hour per day and find a show the family can watch together and discuss once per week. Parents must adhere to the one hour per day limit as well. Make exceptions only for fine films.
3. Start allowances at age five and require 10% be given to church, 10% saved, and match the saved amount annually to encourage stewardship.
4. Expose the children to all sorts of possibilities—art, music, museums, sports, dance, history, travel, wilderness, foods, people—and encourage them in whatever grasps them.
5. Make clear that worshipping every week is a nonnegotiable, no matter what went on Saturday evening. Make sure they learn to enjoy old people, tradition, ritual and music as part of the faith community.
6. When they come home from school, ask them not, "How was school?" but rather, "What did you learn today?"
7. Eat supper, and a good one, as a family every night if at all possible, without media save good music, and say grace.
8. Share volunteer activities with them to make clear this is a crucial part of life.
9. Hug, touch, dance, kiss, laugh, cry, hold hands, skinny dip, and anything else that will help them feel okay about their physical being. Don’t stop when they become adolescents.
10. Read stories, tell family stories, make up stories, listen to their stories. Life is narrative.
11. Cook together, garden together, walk together, look at stars together, go to funerals together, decorate Christmas trees together, play board games together . . . you get the picture.
12. Go to all their activities, if humanly possible, but give them their privacy when they need it.
13. Tell them the values by which you are trying to live. And try to do so.


Mary said…
those i think you would do naturally :) the allowance would be harder...especially because we never grew up with such things (which is fine i think)and skinny dipping? hmm....
Megan said…
Good ideas. Very common sense, but common sense stuff tends to get overlooked when there are parenting guides everywhere with all sorts of advice and suggestions and techniques to try and make sense of.
Pete S said…
Okay, so I'm okay with this being a bunch of good ideas...but is it workable for families which are "two income" out of necessity?

And who is this, anyway?

And why am I being so argumentative?

Oh, and I was in Wilmore today. It wasn't a Tuesday, but I drove past your old duplex and thought of our good talks. It's not the same, exactly, but your blog is a source of tremendous inspiration for me on any night.
greg. said…
oh man, i wish i could be in wilmore. i just want to see it again. i'm sure its vastly different, but i'm glad to here the old duplex is still standing. thanks for the trip down memory lane and the encouraging words.

and, while these rules may not be all that maintainable, they are good guides to keep in mind, i think, and reasonable if you are committed to the principles behind them (he says as he puts his son in front of 'finding nemo' for the 300th time so that he can catch a little bit of the yanks/sox game himself). whatever.

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