My sons love to make cookies. They’re not so into the measuring and stirring of ingredients, but they love rolling out the dough and decorating the cookies before they go into the oven. And of course the best part is eating the cookies when they’re still warm from the oven.
I recently attended a leadership conference where the theme was Recipe for Success. It created a great Iron-Chef-type atmosphere amongst the attendees as we tried to break down what it takes to be successful. One exercise encouraged us to define our key ingredients for success. This led me to ask myself what my key ingredients were for success as a parent.
Some ingredients came to mind easily:
- Knowing my role
- Using that role to teach
- Making sure my children know themselves and understand their feelings
- Practicing patience and being calm
- Rewarding desired behaviors
- Encouraging my children without doing everything for them
Other ingredients came after more thought:
- Taking care of myself
- Tending to my relationship with my husband
- Making time for friends
One vital ingredient came to mind only after a good night’s sleep:
- Celebrate the successes: your child’s, your own and your family’s
Putting my parenting goals in recipe format made me think of baking cookies with the kids and reminded me to celebrate the time we spend together and appreciate the result of our work.
Sometimes in life it’s easy to focus on the recipe and not enjoy the process. I’d encourage all parents to savor the process of raising children. Figure out what ingredients are working in your parenting recipe and substitute or take out any that aren’t. Add new ingredients as needed and most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy yourself along the way. Don’t forget to celebrate your successes.
What are the key ingredients in your recipe for success?