I just finished a great parenting book, Parenting with Fire by Shmuley Boteach. Shmuley is a Jewish Rabbi, but you don’t have to be Jewish to get a lot out of this book. This is one of the only parenting books that I’ve ever read that I thought, “Oh, this guy is on the money.” He really gets it. His advice isn’t extreme, it’s simple and reminds you what’s truly important through his PLANT method of parenting.
P–Protection. It’s your primary job to protect your children from harm, both body and spirit.
L–Love. Make sure your kids know they are unconditionally loved.
A–Activity. Provide you children with wholesome and engaging activities.
N–Novelty. Make the ordinary extraordinary.
T-Tradition. Traditions give our kids a sense of who they are and where they come from.
Each chapter had a lot to offer, but the one I liked the most was the chapter about Activity. He talks a lot about sharing your passions with your kids.
It made me think…What are my passions? What are the things that I love–that make me who I am–that I should be sharing with my kids? Here’s what I’ve come up with so far.
1. Books & Reading: I love books. I love going to Barnes and Noble and looking at all of the pretty covers, imagining the fabulous stories inside. I love reading magazines, the newspaper, and my favorite blogs. In my free time (snicker) it’s what I love to do. We already had Movie Night on Friday nights at our house, but now I’m also going to introduce Book Night on some of those Friday nights. With blankets and big pillows in front of the fireplace, we’ll eat popcorn, fruit and cheese for dinner and read our favorite books together, quietly and aloud.
2. Sports: I am about the most unathletic person you could ever meet. I barely have enough athletic ability to work out without making a total fool of myself. But I do love to watch sports. Obviously with my husband as a college coach, sports are naturally a big part of our lives. But along with golf, we also love, love, love watching football and going to games. So, instead of leaving the boys home and paying an arm and a leg for a sitter, we are going to start taking them to games. We’re going to start playing more games in the backyard and the Golfer is going to start taking them to the golf course more often.
3. Writing: This is a hard one. Writing is such a solitary thing for me. It’s my quiet time, my time to dive into myself a little. I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to share this passions with my kids, but maybe when they’re older I can let them be a guest blogger for me.
4. The Environment: This is a big one for me. I feel very strongly about protecting our planet’s valuable resources and doing our part to make a difference. Seriously–it really, REALLY bothers me when I see someone throwing away in the trash that should be recycled. I share this passion daily with my kids. It’s not hard. We talk a lot about recycling–what things go into the recycling bin verses the trash. We talk a lot about not waisting water while we brush our teeth and turning off the lights to save energy.
5. Serving Others: I believe that giving back to the community is such a huge lesson that I want my kids to learn. They are blessed with plenty, but I want them to understand that the majority of the population isn’t as blessed. There are people who have needs that we can meet by doing very simple things. As my boys get older, I know that we’ll be able to do more community service as a family, but for now there are simple things that we can do like buying extra groceries to take to the local food pantry or helping to make sack lunches for the local shelter is a start.
So there they are…my passions that make me who I am and maybe will be a part of who my kids will be.
What are your deep thoughts this Monday?