We hear all too often about how important it is to align with our values in all that we do. It’s well researched in the positive psychology field that aligning with our values helps us to have more meaning, better relationships, personal happiness and greater wellbeing.
These 15 questions are a meaningful way to discover what you value, the connection you want to have with your child and the long term vision you strive for in your parenting. From these questions you could create your very own parent manifesto. A parent manifesto is a public verbal or written declaration of the intentions, motives, values and views you have in your parenting. I liken a manifesto as written intention that you share with your family to guide, strengthen and support you in your parenting approach.
It doesn’t have to be fancy. For a couple of years, in the early years our manifesto read like this “Trust our son, to trust himself” and “Love is a doing word”. I then discovered Brene Brown’s manifesto (I highly recommend you Google it and feel deeply inspired) and it was so powerful to read and resonated with me so strongly. Our current manifesto (created in June 2013), I chose to have professional designed for my Kids in Harmony parent education programs and I am so happy I did, my son loves it so very much and I still remember his eyes and response the moment I showed it to him.
Your manifesto can be as big or small as you like. One sentence or one word even. What I like about creating a manifesto is that it can be a precious keep sake for years to come and a beautiful way to get to know yourself and your partner even more. It also strengthens you in the times you feel a little off track. Here is an example of my manifesto.
If a manifesto is not your thing, the questions can be as simple as creating conversations with your partner or taking time for yourself to reflect and connect with that inner most longing you have for your child and for yourself as a parent. If you love to journal, you are in for a treat.
15 Questions to ask yourself
- How would you want to be parented if you were your child?
- Acknowledge 2 amazing parents you know and why you respect and value their parenting?
- What 3 Values describe you?
- Describe 3 words that describe what you want for your child’s developmental years?
- What are the 3 things you want your child to remember about their childhood?
- What do you need to be less of as a parent for your child to flourish?
- What are the most precious things about being a parent and why?
- Name 3 places you love taking your child and why?
- If you had to trust your child with someone for a day who would you choose and why?
- In 20 years time how would you love your child to describe you?
- Name 3 things that you value about how you parent your child now?
- How would you want your child to describe their childhood?
- What are some of the things you said you would never do as a parent?
- What are your biggest hopes and dreams for your child as they grow?
- What family rituals would you hope your children take into their parenting?
These questions are to encourage big picture parenting to know your ‘why’. Why you choose to parent the way you do, why things deeply matter to you, why some things are not negotiable and other things you are more relaxed with. Why certain things trigger you and other things make you feel peaceful and calm. These questions are an insightful and a powerful way to discover and align with how you want to BE in your parenting and how you want to FEEL in your parenting.
If you get stuck on the questions, give yourself plenty of time. You may even have some better questions to ask yourself.
May this blog energise you and inspire you in all that you do.
Enjoy the journey!
Happy, whole-hearted parenting