When you observe those around you, you will see children and families you would like to emulate. These parents make great mentors!
On Becoming Childwise gives some great advice in helping you as a parent decide what to focus on teaching to your children: observe other children, pre-teens, and teenagers.
I would add you can even observe adults–and of course take inventory of yourself.
Think about people you enjoy being around. People who impress you for whatever reason. What about these people is it that you like? What are the qualities that you are taking note of and admiring? (page 75).
Now, what are the families like of these people? What is home life like? What are the qualities you are wanting to instill in your children, and how do you think you can do that?
Observation is such a powerful tool. Observation is what led me to the -wise series in the first place.
When I was pregnant with Brayden, I really carefully observed the babies at church each week. I took note of the ones I thought seemed happiest, the family seemed calmest, and who was most content. There were several I really admired.
One day, I asked one of the moms what she did to have such a happy and content baby. She told me all about On Becoming Babywise. She then told me who else at church followed this system, and those were the families I had pinpointed as the ones I wanted to model after.
Of course, despite that, I still had it in my head that I could essentially “wing-it” and be just fine. As we all know, that didn’t last too long into Brayden’s life, when my friend’s words came back to my mind and we took a trip to the bookstore to purchase On Becoming Babywise and I read the entire thing in under two hours. The rest is history.
It taught me a valuable lesson. Any time I see a family that I think has done a great job with their children, I ask them what they have done and I take note of their advice. There aren’t any families around me with children older than mine who have done Babywise at all, but of course there are fabulous and amazing families around me who have some amazing tips for raising great children.
So observe what you like and inquire those parents about how they got there. There is so much wisdom in seeking the wisdom of those who have gone before you. Take note, listen, and heed their advice.