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.