Don't stress over:
1. Potty training - they won't go to kindergarten in a diaper.2. Schedules - while routines are very important, don't miss out on a fun experience because of a your set schedule.
3. Behavior - it is not always a reflection of your parenting. Preschoolers can do odd and funky things, it doesn't mean they have psychological problems or you are doing something wrong as their parent!
4. Don't be afraid to say "this is what our family does or does not do."
5. Don't stress over what other families are doing. Your family is unique. Do what is best for your family and your particular situation.
6. Don't worry about keeping your house clean. Take out the diapers and keep the sticky off the floor, but play more than you pick up. Kathy said, "remember you rarely see the homes of toddlers in Southern Living!"
The "do" list is much longer:
1. Books - read to them to when they are little. Read with them when they can read on their own. Share articles and devotions with them as they enter the teen years.
2. Storytime at the library! Go and enjoy this special time with your kids, it will encourage life long learning. Enroll in the summer reading program and make a big deal out of getting a cupcake from Honeymoon bakery!
3. Give them experiences rather than gifts! Plan a trip to the zoo, the aquarium, the park or to ride bikes.
4. Eat meals together and talk about your day - the good and the bad.
5. Teach them to swim - the world is 2/3 water
6. Go to their events, even when it means you have to change up your schedule!
7. Be silly. Laurie said, "after weekly swim lessons we would go get biscuits at different establishments and rate them."
8. Share a love of nature and being outside. Jackie said, "when my kids were getting on my nerves, we would go outside. A change of scenery helped everyone's attitude."
9. Let them share in your world. Allow them to help you, even if it would be easier to do it yourself. Let them tear the lettuce, stir in the chocolate chips, break the eggs, put wet clothes in the dryer, rake leaves, etc...
10. Listen to a variety of music. Take them to appropriate concerts, shows and to appreciate the arts.
11. Ride bikes together. Kids may tell you things while riding side by side rather than looking at you.
12. Worship together regularly, they will never know it's not an option.
Thanks to Terri, Angie, Jennifer, Laurie, Kathy, and Jackie for their wisdom.
What would you add to the list?