The 5 L's of Parenting
Through the joys and
frustrations of being a single parent for most of seven years with my
daughter, I have discovered some rather basic things that really help.
I call it the 5 Lís of Parenting; Love, Listen, Laugh, Light & Like
creates Like. Now some of you may count and say thatís 6, but since
like is repeated, I only count it once.
Being a parent I know you
donít have much free time to read, so weíll get right down to
Love your child, not
just in your heart, but with your whole being. For many of us this
is a no-brainer. We are so in love with our children, yet we often
forget to show it.
Surrender yourself to
that love. Make every decision based upon that love. Sure, itís
scary to give so much of your self to a person, but itís worth it.
Ever hear the
expression; íLove isnít something until you give it awayí? It is
not enough to feel love for someone, you must express it Ė In word
AND action. A child needs to be totally secure in your love for
them. [Yes, I know a child is never TOTALLY secure, but they can
be close] Their greatest fear is to lose the love of a parent. And
that holds true into adulthood. That is why we forever strive for
our parentsí approval Ė consciously or subconsciously.
Listen to your child;
youíll be surprised by how much they can teach you. Their view of
the world is different, so they may see angles to things you would
never have considered.
I mean REALLY listen.
Itís surprising how many of us donít know how to do that. [Maybe,
because our parents never really listened to us?] So then, what
does listening look like? First is to keep eye contact, if
possible. Be attentive. Ask appropriate questions, but do not form
an opinion or formulate your questions while they are speaking. If
youíre thinking of what youíre going to say, or form an opinion
before they have the opportunity to explain themselves fully, you
are not listening.
Remember, if you expect
your children to listen to you, you need to listen to them.
Listening is a skill. It is something we learn, not something
youíre born knowing how to do. Sound simple? It takes practice.
Laugh with your child.
Allow them to experience life as fun Ė It will help you to
maintain a positive attitude with them. Your child will help to
remind you not to sweat the small stuff if you let them.
It is important to show
your child how to approach life with humor. This is not to say
teasing or mean spirited expressions of humor are acceptable.
Laughing at anotherís expense is not something we want to teach
our children. It still bothers me that a large segment of
Americaís Funniest Videos is devoted to people taking falls where
they would obviously be hurt. I can never stomach that segment. It
makes me proud to say that my 7 year old has enough sense to
change the channel during those times.
Laugh with your child.
Remember to play. Use your imagination and encourage them to use
theirs. Laugh at your own mistakes instead of becoming frustrated.
Teach your children how to handle stress through laughter; in
order to do that they need a sense of what is really important.
That means that we need to react appropriately to situations and
not blow things out of proportion. This is not as easy as it
Imagine you are late for
a wedding, maybe one that youíre in and your two year old decides
to pick that moment to raid your make up case. You are already
stressed, but is it really that major a problem? If your child had
done the same thing on a stay at home day would you react the same
way? Take the action and place it in a different situation to
decide how you need to respond. Remember, act - do not react. The
world will not end if you take a moment to breathe.
Unless the action of the
child puts them or someone else in danger, itís probably small
stuff. Yes, your child needs discipline. To discipline means to
teach, not scream, not punish, but teach. If there is no lesson
learned in the exchange, there is nothing gained. When in doubt,
give them a stern look, Make them clean it up, maybe point out
what is wrong and laugh. [You may want to go in the other room for
the laughing part if you want to remain stern.]
The word light is
multi-faceted for my purposes here. First, live in the light, the
light being Truth and Love. There is no more powerful teacher to
our children than our own lives. Living the light means having and
maintaining an authentic life. If you want your child to be happy,
find happiness. Lead by example, because whether that is your
intention or not, that is what you are doing. Be mindful of that
Second, keep it light.
Life is hard enough without us throwing our drama on our children.
I have found a long stern lecture to be much less effective than a
stern look and a single statement. Try not to get caught up in
lecturing your child; a real conversation goes a lot further.
Remember a conversation consists of two or more individuals taking
turns speaking and listening, SPEAKING AND LISTENING. That means,
regardless of how you feel, you need to keep your mouth shut and
ears attentive. Donít be worried about your reply. Concentrate on
what your child has to say. In other words, REALLY listen. Listen
without judgment. [Thatís really the hard part, and very
I know that itís hard,
but itís worth it. Good communication builds a good relationship
that can last a lifetime. If you donít actively listen to your
child when theyíre small, why would they bother talking to you
when they become teenagers?
Like creates like. What
does that mean? When our children are young they reflect what we
do. If your child tends to be condescending, or short in their
speech, you need to examine the manner in which you are speaking
to them and others around them. The aspects of their behavior that
set us off the most tend to be the things we dislike in ourselves.
Behaviors like dishonesty in the form of lying or cheating are
learned. You are leading by example whether you like it or not.
Always consider your actions when in the presence of a child.
Children are wonderful
reflections of our own behavior. They can teach us so much about
ourselves if we pay attention. When a young child displays an
undesirable behavior, like yelling at us, we need to monitor ourselves
and change to model more acceptable behavior. Of course this is a part
of discipline. We still need to correct the child when we see them
behaving inappropriately. And we also need to discipline ourselves to
behave honorably at all times.
Children are a gift. They
are not little clones or blank pieces of clay for us to mold. They
have their own personalities, thoughts and feelings. They deserve
respect, as you do.
Remember, you are the most
important thing in their lives as they grow to discover who they are.
Itís our jobs as parents to give them the tools they need to safely
navigate the world. And if we teach them properly and present a good
example, our children will change the world. Simply by their presence
in it, the world will be a better place.
Love them in word and deed.
Laugh with them. Listen to them. Live the Light to guide them and keep
it light for them. Like creates like, so live as if everyday what you
do will be on the cover of tomorrowís newspaper. [I stole that quote
from my mom] Donít forget to thank your parents. Good Luck and God
Geralyn St. Joseph
was a single parent for six years. She holds a degree in
communications with a concentration in Law and Psychology from Temple
University in Philadelphia. She offers her services as a spiritual
advisor primarily in Kailua on Oahu and by phone. She also offers
couples guidance and a wide array of metaphysical classes and services
both in person and via email. She is available for individual readings
& parties as well as corporate events. Contact her at 808 261-7866 or
Metaphysical ClassesSpiritual GuidancePsychic
When working with clients, I share
information and metaphors for self-insight. It is the responsibility of
each person seeking assistance to be the final determiner of his or her
choices in life. I assume no credit, blame or liability for the impressions
I share or any actions that people may take as a result of hearing them.
The point of having a reading is to use the information as a barometer of
your path and help you see the bigger picture. It is not for the psychic to
make your decisions for you, but rather to guide you. May your greater good
be served. Blessings, Geralyn
Kailua, Hawaii 96734
808 261-7866 or
© Geralyn St. Joseph 2006 All rights reserved