I wrote a little note to myself to describe my hopes for my relationship with my children this year. It became an epic pep talk so I called it my 2016 Parenting Manifesto – a declaration of my intentions for the year. What would you include in your 2016 Parenting Manifesto?

Best wishes for the New Year <3 Briannon

Parenting Manifesto

This year, find more opportunities to decrease distraction.
Create slow moments. Take a bath or read a book together. Colour in. Lie in bed. Hide under the covers together.
Your children love these little moments of connection.

Join your kids splashing in puddles and squelching in mud. It looks fun.
Take a walk holding hands. Swim in the ocean. Plant a tree together.

There is a difference between patience and joy. Figure that out. Giggle and be silly.
Your children know how. They are brilliant in their authenticity, presence and joy.
Say YES more. Follow their lead.

Stop yelling. Just stop. Breathe, sit down and talk it out.
This could be your greatest gift to your children this year.

When you seek to control, let go. When you seek to reprimand, listen.
When you feel unsure, take your children’s lead. Keep practising this.
Don’t allow fear to dominate your parenting.

Seek connection.

Your children’s interests and passions are important. Tune in, watch and play along.
Your children’s big feelings are important (even when they don’t make sense).
See the world through their eyes.

Please, oh please, don’t resent their need for your comfort and presence.
When you do, it’s a sign that you need to make space for your own needs.
Value yourself.  Get more sleep and make it a priority.
Cuddle your babies when you sleep too. One day they won’t be there to cuddle.

Do these things when you can; even if it’s just some of the time.
If you forget, forgive yourself (just as you forgive your children).
Fear, guilt and perfection don’t go well with an adventurous, juicy life.

<3 Briannon