An exercise to make parenting easier

easy parenting value May 03, 2024
Wendy in a warm white sweater and purple yoga pants on the floor criss-cross laughing strongly, on podcast cover for

Parenting is no joke. It's hard AF and then kids just don't understand what we're doing.

Today we're going to go through an exercise that I have found makes it so much easier to parent.

Here's what to do:
Define your values.

Ok, this is something that we never discussed in Parenting 101. It's over-due. We've always been told what to do, but not how to understand why we do things. Values are what we hold important, our guiding light and WHY we do the things we do.

What are your values, specific around raising your family?

I'm going to let you think about it for a moment:
What is important? What are your values? Not defining - just what comes up. List 5 of them.

Now think about the rules you have in your home.
Perhaps around safety, electronics, food, movement, social interactions, relationships.

How are those rules tied to your values?

For example, I value safety. Rules in my house: we would never have a backyard pool or trampoline, and we always always always buckle up, no matter how far we are going.
Those rules weren't moving anywhere because there was a solid WHY: they were tied to a value that I had and that I was instilling in my kids.

Of note, there was no negotiation, no begging til I would let them sit in the carseat without buckling. I had a value and I created rules with boundaries around them: no buckle, no car move.

Then along came electronics. I will highlight that we can make values whatever we want. In this case I highlight my value of SLEEP.
With electronics, I needed help with my parental extension because my children did not have the same sleep schedules and values around electronics that I did. I realize I'm dating myself a bit with the tech I'm describing, but I used wifi blocker I shut off electronics at a certain time.

Here's the thing: of course the kids didn't have the same values. They didn't agree. They tried bargaining and negotiating and fussing and...

it didn't work.

I created a boundary for myself and for them: electronics are off at a certain hour. And then they had all the emotions.

It was fine -- as I reminded myself over and over again.  Because it was based in my value.

Our kids' values are not necessarily the same as ours. And that's OK. This is where parenting is fun: we get to parent in a style that fits our family, and recognizing the role that we play as leaders in our families. Leaders do hard things. And that is parenting. We can make the hard easy - easier- and fun, still acknowledging that we are doing things that are life's work (hard) - raising the next generation.

When we live according to our values, boundaries and rules get easier to maintain - along with the work of understanding that we can't dial in our kids' emotional experience. And that is ok.

In a way, values help us understand our WHY, our North Star - things get easier when we are working with our values - because things just seem to align. First, you get to understand yours.


YouTube version of Episode #113 here.

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I ask a favor of you: if you liked this episode, please subscribe, rate and review on your favorite podcast service, and share with your friends so they know that there is a different way to stop struggling with worries about weight. It's easy and fun!

And when you're ready to start applying this in your own home, check out for more information about how the Family in Focus program can help you and your family create lifelong healthy relationships with food and body, now and at every weight.

Disclaimer: While Wendy Schofer, MD discusses health and wellness, this is not medical advice and she is not your doctor. Optimal health is achieved in combination with your physician, who collaborates with you for your individual health. Talk to your doctor. And tell them about Family in Focus. Mwah!

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