When my oldest was born, I don't think my husband and I really discussed what our parenting style would be. Thankfully, we are very similar in our views about what's important and things just evolved naturally. From the time he was really young, we have taught him that the people around him are the most important things in the world. Not just his family and friends, but everyone he comes across. When the twins were born, we knew that we would instill those same values in them as well.
“You don't have to be the smartest, fastest, best looking or most popular. You only need to be the kindest and hardest working. Those are the two things that will bring you happiness and success in life.”
That's my motto. That's what I want my kids to strive for.
I do not want my kids to do what I ask because I ask them to do it, I want them to do it because it's the right thing to do. I want my children to be able to ask questions and disagree, as long as they do it in a respectful manner.
I'd be naive to think that children do not need discipline. My 4 year-old twins are not likely to always do the right thing. But when disciplining them I try to show them how their actions make other people feel. Are you talking during swimming lessons? How do you think that makes your coach feel? You took a toy from your sister, how do you think that made her feel? The older they get, the more I think they understand it.
Sometimes I see glimpses of kindness that make my heart swell with pride. Other times I see how much they still need to learn. I'll continue to teach them kindness through my actions and my words, and hopefully someday I can look back and see that it made a difference.