Today I wanted to share with you a bit of a story. It’s about something that happened to me recently that wasn’t particularly nice to experience, but that actually ended up being a good thing. In retrospect it was good because it made me think about and re-evaluate what I do here and spurred me to want to write this post about what a parenting values masterlist ISN’T. But before we get in to that here’s the story…
I am lucky to have a pretty active community of amazing country mamas on facebook but recently that facebook page garnered some negative attention. It seemed to start innocently, with comments about the community in general which although I didn’t like I let slide, because I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. But unfortunately, it quickly turned in to a personal attack where two individuals made comments about me personally. Some particularly harsh comments were made about me as a parent and about my parenting style, words I won’t repeat here as that just wouldn’t be appropriate! I had never spoken to either of these people before the comments had been made, so I was understandably quite upset. It made me incredibly sad that people could be so cruel to someone they had never met before.
Even though it was a horrible thing to experience it gave me some really great ideas for blog material and made me consider ways I could do better, and help you better, right here on the blog. One particular point that was made was about the values masterlist and how as a parent of an 8 month old I could hardly be teaching any valuable lessons, or at least not enough lessons to warrant having a whole list of values. So today I wanted to talk about what a parenting values masterlist ISN’T…
A parenting values masterlist isn’t a pill, potion or formula to magically change your child
As much as we both might hope that a values masterlist will change our lives as parents overnight, the truth is that it just won’t happen like that.
Your parenting values masterlist isn’t designed to remove all your worries and woes instantaneously. It is however designed to guide you and give you something to come back to and reflect on when you feel overwhelmed, frustrated or lost as a parent.
As I discovered after this horrible experience, it is a parenting tool that can help you get out of the funk you are in, reconnect with what’s important and make a plan to move forward.
A parenting values masterlist isn’t something you need to wait to implement
My daughter Clara may only 8 months old, but we have already started using our parenting values masterlist.
Teaching important lessons to your children isn’t something you need to wait to do, and there are lots of small ways that you can begin to use your values masterlist even if your child isn’t able to comprehend or understand big lessons just yet.
One of our core family values is a love and respect for animals, so we’ve been making sure we introduce Clara to as many different animals as we can. At this stage in her life it’s almost impossible to teach lessons around kindness and compassion so we’ve instead opted to begin introducing her to the subjects of our values, she’s been introduced to our cat, our dogs, our horses and has even had her first visit to a zoo.
The introduction to these animals at this age means that when she is old enough to begin to learn the concepts of kindness, respect and compassion she will have already formed a relationship with the animals in her life putting her in a better position to learn how about animals should be treated and grow as an animal lover and owner.
A parenting values masterlist isn’t unchanging
Other than being a totally kickass parenting tool, the great thing about a values masterlist is that it grows as your family does. It will develop and evolve as our children grow and their interests begin to shift.
That’s not to say that there won’t be core values that remain the same or stay on your list. One of our family core values is around being respectful and courteous in your actions and this is a value that will stay on our masterlist FOREVER.
A value such as having an understanding of and respect for where food comes from and how it is grown however, may be something that we drop off when we feel as though we have either exhausted all there is to teach around this value or if Clara doesn’t show an interest in the subject.
A parenting values masterlist isn’t one size fits all
One of the biggest criticisms I received about the parenting values masterlist from these cyberbullies was that previous generations didn’t “go to the internet to learn how to be a parent”. I think that’s a shame because some of the most amazing mums I know I’ve met online (hello, to you!).
The thing about the parenting values masterlist though is that it is most certainly not a tool that tells you HOW you should parent. It’s a method whereby you work out what type of parent you want to be and figure out what you want to teach your children by evaluating what is important to you and your family.
After you go through the process you should have a parenting values masterlist that is unique as you and your family.