Parenting today takes on many profiles. Two-parent families and single parent families. One mommy, one daddy homes, and two-mommy or two-daddy homes. Stay-at-home parents and working parents and work-at-home parents. Parents with and without custody, and with joint custody. Commuter parents, home for weekends when possible. Parents who provide day-care for other children in their home. Grandparents serving as surrogate parents. Step-parenting, foster-care parenting, and adoptive parenting. I know I’m missing some, but you get the idea. Add to the mix the cultural, socioeconomic, and age variables in parenting and you have a potpourri of parent profiles unlike any previous era. The “Father Knows Best,” “Leave it to Beaver,” and “Donna Reed Show” parenting stereotypes of the past are, well, passed – at least as the predominant parenting model.
So, how is it possible for someone like me to speak to all the parents I’ve worked with over the past 30 years and convey “parenting truths” when there seem to be few common circumstances or demographics among today’s parents? Easy really. I am not, and never have, advocated a single parenting strategy. As you may remember from my earlier blog post, “The Checkered History of Parenting Advice,” (http://www.noregretsparenting.com/the-checkered-history-of-parenting-advice/) there is no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting. And there is only one important “truth” that I try to teach every parent: your kids need you to be there. They need to see who you are and how you live your life. And in return, they will help you to better see who you are and how you should live your life.
No Regrets Parenting is not an instruction manual for parenting success that requires adherence to any particular philosophy or approach. It is not a recipe with many ingredients or complicated directions. No Regrets Parenting is one concept. One ingredient that applies to every parent, regardless of circumstances or demographics, regardless of the ages of your kids or the resources in your bank account.
One concept. One ingredient.
There is no parent-child relationship that does not need quality time to nurture and love. To laugh and cry, grow and learn together. Whatever your hopes and dreams are for your kids, whoever you want them to become, and however you decide to get them there, you need time with them. And, you need a plan for how to find the time, and to make the most of the time you find. No Regrets Parenting teaches you how to create more minutes with your kids than you ever thought possible, and how to turn those minutes into moments you and your kids will cherish.
But even though No Regrets Parenting is only one truth, one concept, one ingredient, it is by no means a “one-trick pony.” There are infinite ways for you to accomplish No Regrets Parenting. You’ll find many in the new book (in stores 2/21/12; presale at online sites now) and in this blog.
But I want to hear your ideas; share them by clicking on the title of this post and adding your thoughts in the comments box that appears below the post. I’ll respond to as many as I can. Looking forward to hearing from you!