What's Your Parenting Motto?

Monday, September 16, 2019

I'm about 6 years into this parenting gig. As any parent can tell you, it's not always easy (understatement of the century?!) and it challenges us in ways we never imagined. Raising little humans is a big task, and it demands to be treated as such: we are entrusted with little hearts and impressionable minds, after all.

That's why I've recently embraced a little phrase that I repeat to myself often (most of the time in my head, sometimes out loud) and that I've found helpful in many aspects of parenting. Maybe you will, too?

Lead With Love.

Sounds simple enough, right? Of course, it's a given that we love our children and would give our very lives for their chance to lead their own. So "leading with love" seems obvious. But this little parenting motto isn't simply about loving our children, because I don't believe that love ever goes away no matter how frustrated, overwhelmed, or clueless we might feel. 

For me, Leading With Love has become an intention, followed by a direction, followed by an action. For example, when I'm dealing with a tantrum that seems to know no end, or when I'm facing kid attitude, or when I'm walking my three year old back to bed for the fourth time with bleary eyes -- and especially when I feel like I'm at the end of my fraying rope, and we've all been there -- I've found that if I remind myself to react with love first, things usually work out much more smoothly and happily for everyone involved, including myself. It's so easy to lose our tempers, to say something that feels deserved in the moment but doesn't settle well later, but when I try take a minute and remind myself of my little motto, it's resulted in less tears, less confusion, and less guilt later on. Simply put, it just feels better to Lead With Love. 

Leading With Love can also be interpreted as how we lead by example when it comes to our kids. Over and over, I've witnessed how these little people watch exactly what we do. How are we leading them -- literally? Are we approaching those we come into contact with with love? Are we expressing our feelings, even in times of high stress or frustration, the way we hope our kids will? Don't get me wrong -- nobody is perfect or can react in the ideal way all the time. I strongly believe there's a lot of value in showing our kids that even grown-ups don't always make the best choices. For me, if Leading With Love is always the goal, I'm more likely to do it -- but if I don't one day, because I'm human, then my kids learn that it's ok not to be perfect all the time. Mistakes are also a (vital) part of life. And, while "Lead With Love" has truly helped shape my parenting, know that I also have other, less lovely sounding, parenting mottos like "this too shall pass" and "ehh, why not?" ;) 

Do you have a parenting motto? I'd love to hear it!


  1. I love this so much, Jen. It's been something I'm working on too. I've found myself raising my voice too many times and it always escalates the situation. I also saw my sons react similar to how I did and knew that I needed to change. It is a constant reminder, but so much better when we can lead by love. Thank you for sharing :)

    1. We've all been there! I'm not sure why, but just reminding myself of those three little words has really helped refocus things for me. I'm glad you can relate! <3

  2. I love this motto that you chose. I would have to say that I would want that to be my motto too. I need to work on this.

    1. You're a wonderful momma. We are all a constant work in progress, right?! Glad you can relate, though! This parenting thing isn't for the faint of heart!


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