Sometimes just a title, just a concept can be enough. Wherever You Go There You Are is a great book…and a great mantra. The Obstacle is The Way, and Ego is the Enemy were intended to have a similar effect. Even if you don’t crack the covers, just the concept is enough to provide a little guidance.
There’s an interesting parenting philosophy whose name does this. Maybe you’ve heard of it. Maybe you disagree with most of its teachings (a run down can be found here), but the name itself is a helpful and broad reminder worth thinking about today. It’s called: Take Children Seriously.
Again, you can take or leave the specifics–just as you might take or leave the ideas in Montessori or Aware Parenting–but there is something that ought to stick with everyone about Taking Children Seriously. Because being a parent is serious business and your children are serious people. Yes, they are silly and ridiculous little people, but they are people!
Much of what we’ve written here and in The Daily Dad book (signed copies here!) are built around this premise. The idea of not treating your kids like a doll. The idea of encouraging them to make their own decisions. The idea of helping them become what they are. The idea of realizing that they are tough and strong and more resilient than you think. This is all treating them seriously, as people, as worthy of respect and space and autonomy. Which, again, they are!
Take your kids seriously. They deserve it.