By Jackie White
When asked what the most important thing is in our lives, most people say “family”. We have no doubts about it, especially if we are parents. Our children are easily our most cherished thing on Earth, and we do our best to serve our children and family accordingly.
Recently, I ran across something that made me stop and wonder why in the world we all aren’t doing something like this. Brene’ Brown, the author of Daring Greatly has published what she called “The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto”. It sounds a little daunting and official but in truth, it lays out parenting guideposts and promises for her children. It is a beautiful and thoughtful tribute to her children and to herself.
You see, the beauty of this manifesto is that Brene and her husband have expressed not only in word but in deed as to what their children can expect from them not only as parents but also as people. Their actions demonstrate authenticity and stability for their children. Their children learn through the words and actions of the manifesto that they are accepted for who they are. They are told they are worthy and through all their imperfections they are always loved.
Can you imagine if all children had such a manifesto and dedication from their parents? It blows my mind to think of how different the world might be. The fact is, we might not be able to affect the whole world, but we can affect our personal world and the world of our children and, in doing so, we could be creating ripples that reach out to others.
The Benefits of a Parenting Manifesto
It has often been said that there should be a class required for anyone to become a parent. The job is one of the most important jobs in the world. We tend to fumble around at times and other times we are rocking this thing called parenthood. Developing a parenting manifesto will help you not only be a better parent but also a better person. Taking the time to think through the kind of person and parent you want to be and articulating that in a manifesto provides guidelines and reminders for you. Pulling all the good stuff together in one place and posting that in your home is pledging a promise to yourself and your family that you are in this together with love and support.
Let’s Do This Thing
To put a parenting manifesto in place in your home, begin with yourself. With your partner, individually brainstorm all the things you would want to be included in a parenting manifesto. Note that Brene’ Brown covered feelings like you are loved no matter what, compassion, courage, play, joy, gratitude, fear, and grief. Brown has a parenting emotion wheel that may be helpful to identify feelings you may want to include in your manifesto. Another helpful resource identifying your own core values aligning those to your parenting. You can find a core value list on FindYourSoulShine.com. Thinking through what will make your family experience good, great, and aspirationally awesome is another perspective to think through as you develop your own manifesto. There is no rule that says you can’t use what Brene’ Brown’s manifesto says if it speaks to your parenting goals.
Sharing the Manifesto with Your Kids
Sharing the manifesto with your child really will depend on their age. The manifesto is to be lived and demonstrated and that is the most important part. Show your kids the person you want to be, impart the things in life you feel are important, and demonstrate your unconditional love and support daily through words and actions. That’s the best gift you can give to your child and yourself.
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Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.