Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What are you surrounding yourself with?

There was a study that was released during the summer that showed that if someone in your social network divorced, your chances of divorcing increased.  You probably noticed that when you got married, it seemed like everyone else was as well.  We tend to cluster together with those who are similar or are doing similar things as us.

It’s almost human nature.  We see this happen in grade schools.  The loud kids group together, the active kids group together, the quiet, the shy, the divorced, the boys, the girls, the parentless, and so on.  We group together.  Our social network plays a key role in a lot of our choices.

We need to surround ourselves with other supportive parents.  We need to surround ourselves with other parents who are respectful to their spouses.  We need to be around those who do not belittle, or attempt to tear down our marriage or families.  Why?  We are at a sensitive point in our lives raising children.  It is not an easy job to raise kids.  Kids can be very draining (but also very rewarding); you don’t need anything else consuming your energy.

However, how are we doing internally?  When you are alone, are you implanting thoughts, ideas, or feelings that will interfere with you being a parent?  What are you clicking at on your computer?  What shows and movies are you watching?  What are you listening to?  Do these things help encourage you to be a better husband or father, or are they placing a wedge between you and your family.

You would probably never let your coworkers tell you that you shouldn’t have had kids, or that you are failing as a parent, or take you away from your family for long periods of time.  But we may not have the same guidelines for the TV, movies, video games, music, and computer.  We need to though!  Start establishing them.

Take a dash through your music collection, movie collection, and TV subscription.  Are there some things that need to be removed from your house?  If there is, get it out. Now! Not tomorrow, not in a couple days, do it now.

If you need to make changes to your social network, do that as well.

As you start removing items, and people from your life who drain your energy, you will become a more effective parent and spouse.  You will not feel as pulled down or worn out.

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