It’s the beginning of Lent. I’m not Catholic, but I like turning the focus
inward; to sacrifice, giving up a bad habit or putting something positive
into practice that will connect and strengthen my spiritual core. Since I
believe that your children and mine were created specifically for a
unique purpose, using the 40 days of Lent to put 40 practices, principles
and mindsets into place that make the most of who our children have
been created to be, seems to fit the spiritual intention of the season.
Print the list. Write each thought on a card or Post-It. Work down the list over the next 40 days giving one some thought each day:
1. Love the child you have. Never give or withdraw affection as
reward or punishment for performance.
2. Magnify internals, diminish externals.
3. Maximize natural talents and strengths.
4. Fuel passion. Expose kids to as wide a range of interests as possible.
5. Secure their internal compass. Respect their mind and heart.
6. Emphasize process over outcome.
7. Redefine success as maximizing individual potential.
8. Evaluate objectively, not emotionally.
9. Don’t overestimate talent, underestimate character
10. There’s no “fail”: teach to learn, adjust, move forward.
11. Quitting is not an option, especially when it’s hard.
12. Encourage risk-taking.
13. Always find positives.
14. Expect excellence, not perfection.
15. Don’t rescue. Let them experience consequences.
16. Encourage 1% improvements daily.
17. Expect 100% of the best they can give.
18. Operate from a center of inner excellence .
19. Ask: What’s the wise choice?
20. Clarify Me vs. We. When do I do what’s right for the family or team
21. Demand respect of others.
22. Understand winning and losing.
23. Own responsibility for responses in any circumstance.
24. Fulfill every commitment.
25. Honor your word.
26. Allow zero excuses or blame.
27. Choose challenge over ease.
28. Surround yourself with others going the same direction to the same
29. Have fun and laugh.
30. Coach a child to figure out solutions to their problems.
31. Don’t indulge in permissiveness.
32. Encourage them to adapt and overcome.
33. Provide what they need to chase their dreams.
34. Contribute the best to the world.
35. Control the Controllable.
36. Look for life lessons. Coach not punish.
37. Explain “why”.
38. Hold high standards and expectations.
39. Believe that hard work pays off.
40. You are the only parent they will have. No one can replace you.