My Two Favorite Pieces of Parenting Advice

Now that I’m older, I often find myself in conversations with young mothers who ask for parenting advice. I go back into past and remember two key comments that changed everything about my parenting.

First, wise older parents said, “Don’t teach your children to obey. Teach your children to love to obey.” We talked about robotic obedience as an unworthy goal; teaching the love and pleasure of obedience made the culture of our home different.

Second, a wise mother of much older children said, “Say yes as much as possible. Then, your no really matters.” I was a “no” kind of mother. Everything was no! on instinct, on automatic reaction. That day, I answered yes! as much as I could, and it changed parenting into a joy, a celebration, a challenge towards yes and not always no. It was true: the no truly matter and wasn’t questioned nearly as much.

The love of obedience. The saying yes as much as I can. I love these pieces of parenting advice.

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