There’s no 12-step program for parents to use as a guide and it doesn’t seem right. Then again, maybe there is, because you see, as most people know there’s a 12- program for addiction recovery, and if you know anything about that recovery program, you’ll see it’s simply a guide for life and finding peace of mind. I don’t know about you, but to me, a guide to live by that helps someone find peace of mind would include parenting too. Isn’t that true? That’s why we can take AA’s lead to guide our lives, find peace of mind and receive good advice for parenting all at the same time.
12 STEP GUIDE FOR LIFE, PEACE OF MIND AND PARENTING:
1. Admit what you are powerless to control.
Admit what your ego might not know. You don’t have the power to control every aspect of the heaven, earth and universe your child lives within, so the first step in the process of achieving peace of mind in spite of your powerlessness is to admit what you are powerless to control.
This will be the hardest step in the process, so keep in mind, what is true for you as a human being is true for your children too, and that’s why we call ourselves by the two names, “Human Beings.” Our name means we are identified by two aspects of our existence. The human holds an ego with our roles, but the being holds our soul and the Christ like side of us that makes us who we truly are and who God intended us to be. God’s existence means we don’t need the power to control everything within your kid’s existence. So, admit it and let go of your ego now and then.
2. Admit but forgive the big parenting mistakes you make for your child’s sake.
Since the fact remains that everyone makes mistakes, it’s wise to show your children how forgiveness is achieved. That’s why you need to verbally admit the big mistake you made to your kids, and then, simply own up to it, pay the consequence, ask for forgiveness and then forgive yourself so that you can move on with your parenting and at the same time teach your children what forgiveness means. They’ll see through you how to find peace of mind at any given time, and even when people they love and depend upon disappoint them sometimes. They’ll learn how to take responsibility for the mistakes they make, because you see, confession is good for the soul, and it’s a clean soul which leads to a way that healing takes place for our children’s sake.
3. Find a higher being to depend upon.
Personally, I refer to my higher being as God, and due to the fact that I believe God created me in His image and since I am His child, this means I am worthy to parent my children in Christ like ways. I can behave that way because He gave me two sides to my existence which provides everything I need to parent my children the way God intended His children to parent the children He placed in our care. If I only use my human mind to parent them, my ego will hold onto false roles that only my being knows I’ll never have the power to control. That’s why I need to see and believe that I have a being inside who knows the truth about parenting a child, which is why I can depend on God to do what I’m not able to do. So, if you don’t believe in a higher being, you’ll need to change your mind, for your children’s sake and Christ like lives.
4. Self reflecting is the key to a sense of well being which benefits your children.
Spend time each day reflecting on your parenting style to see what improvements you need. Avoid blindly and automatically moving through life while parenting your child. Remember that it only takes one choice a parent makes on one day within one moment of time that can and often does stick with the child for life.
5. Discover all your character flaws and document them in print.
Before anyone can address the reasons why we make mistakes in the first place, we’ll never see what we need to ask our higher being to fix, or know how to pray every day. That’s why when we see a character flaw that seems to be altering our ability to get along with others and provide the best example we can for our children, we need to document then in print to make them a bold reminder of what we need to fix. It’s like a character building to do list. It simply makes sense.
6. Ask God to remove all character flaws so that you can be the best parent your children need.
Since you are powerless to fix what you don’t know exists or refuse to acknowledge, you’ll need to pray every day that God will see what you missed on your list and fix it. When you begin to depend more on God and less on yourself, you’ll see that God works faster and more effectively through your being than He can through your human mind where your ego gets in the way and takes back control all the time. With prayer, you can be afraid and face what makes you afraid anyway. After that, your prayer makes you unafraid to let go and let God and that fact is exactly what courage means and what it provides parenting.
7. Look through a view of humility and gratitude.
When you’ve let go of your ego, you find you’ve received the power God gives when people learn to trust in Him. Soon, you’ll move a mountain or two, and when your children see the power you’ve achieved, it benefits them and you as well. That’s when they begin to find faith in you and the fact that what you say is true and what you do is to benefit them, but only when you humbly admit to them, that what benefits them is the fact that you pray to God every day for their sake. That’s why you don’t take the credit, but give all the glory to God for the glorious things you’ve achieved for your kids. Remind them and yourself that the credit goes to God who guided you to where He intended you and your kids to be. When you do, you and your kids will begin to see through a view of gratitude, which leads to more to be grateful for, believe me.
8. Remember God gave you a will that’s free to choose what you say, do, think and believe.
One way to teach your kids not to use excuses for what they choose to do, is for you not to use excuses too. Don’t say, “I’ve had a bad day,” as an excuse you use with your kids when you screamed at them. Don’t shame a child for what you chose to unwisely do to set them up for misbehavior. Use your free will to wisely agree to be willing to forgive, forget, make amends and face the consequence. In other words, know how to say, “I was wrong today.”
9. Make amends and then get over it.
When you’ve sinned, don’t wallow within the guilt of it. Just make amends and get over it. I know that’s hard to do, as there’s nothing like parenting kids that can create the demise guilt brings to our lives. It keeps us from seeing the light of truth, which is that God always forgives anyone who asks with repentance and the sincere need to make amends. That’s all we need to do, and when we do, it frees us to be the best parents we can be. It also helps our children see what making amends means, which is the fact that it takes ten times more good to remove what was bad. Still, we must make amends before serenity can begin.
10. Double check your self inventory list of character flaws to fix and reflect on your progress.
Most parents have great minds which hold great intentions inside. That’s why we tend to reflect on our parenting style to see what changes we need, but if we put that list away for a rainy day, we forget it exists. Intentions are fin unless they remain unmet. That’s why it’s vital to maintain your goals through self evaluation on a daily basis. This way, you take one day at a time where you strive to keep each goal within the forefront of your mind at all times.
11. Develop a daily relationship with God.
When you do this, you teach your kids the value in developing a best friend that they can find at any time, day or night, and even when other kids tease, bully or reject them. They begin to feel a sense of worthiness which reveals to them the endless possibilities they might not have otherwise seen had you not thought to bring God into their sight. Besides, God provides an extra set of hands, eyes and ears to hold, see and hear what you hold dear.
12. Remember this: What you give comes back to you.
Tell everyone you meet the good news. There IS a twelve step parenting program to use as a way to help your children thrive and provide a parent with peace of mind at the same time. You see, each step within this twelve step process has given you the greatest gift any parent can receive, which is this: You’ve taken the steps to achieving the peace of mind that comes from providing to your children the powerful way God takes ordinary lives and creates extraordinary parents who raise extraordinary children, who then grow to take good care of you when you get too old to give what they will give ten fold to you. When it comes to parenting, that’s what peace of mind means and what it brings.