As I was looking through my old newspaper articles, from the Sonoma County Gazette in Forestville, California about Listening 2 Children, for ideas for the blog, I came across a list of Principles to Live By. As I read through them, I realized their importance for both children and adults. Today I will cover various aspects of how such principles play a role in the life of an adult; tomorrow I will do the same with respect to children.
As I revise this list now, and as I ponder it, I think that each person could come up with their own unique list; a list that one may want to add to over a period of time.
Following are the Principles that I feel are important for adults to live by. While yours will probably be different I just think its importance for each of us to be aware of what is going on around us and how well our life matches the principles we have chosen.
1. Each person has a need to be listened to and honestly heard.
2. Each person needs to be part of creating the rules and regulations they live by.
3. Each person needs space and time to think their own thoughts.
4. Each person need down time…time to be without having to follow another’s constant requests.
5. Each person needs to feel valued, respected and honored.
6. Each person deserves to live in a state of “contented awareness” and not “anxious awareness”.
7. Each person needs to have nutritious foods.
8. Each person needs to feel safe.
9. Each person needs to have a predicable schedule.
10. Each person deserves to live in a clean and harmonious environment.
If you find yourself in a situation that doesn't seem to support your Principles know that you have a right to discuss your preferences with those you live with. It can be as simple making a statement or asking a question. Following are a few examples of straightforward, yet nonthreatening, ways a preference can be stated.
Having dinner at 6:30 instead of 6:00, really works so much better with my schedule, will that work for you?
I really like to breathe fresh air, and having smoking in the house makes it very stuffy, would you please just smoke outside?
I need some quiet time during the day. Having the television on all the time doesn’t allow for that. I’d like to just turn it on when we want to watch a program, is that agreeable to you?
When you water the plants 3 times a week, they get too much water and don't thrive. Let’s check them together, and see when they need water.
At times in my life, I‘ve lived in situations where some of my needs were not being met. For example, I lived in a home filled with smoke during my childhood. As soon as I was old enough, I closed my door to the rest of the house, to keep it as free as possible from the smoke within the home. I did not have the ability to put my desires into words and talk to my parents.
Also, during my second marriage, I actually allowed the ‘rules’ of the home to be imposed on me, rather than creating them with my husband. I share this because I do believe that at times, as women, we don’t speak up and put our requests into words. If you find yourself in such a situation, I invite you to seriously look at it and see what needs to be done to make it right for you.
At point one in my life; it took me actually 8 years to decide to leave a situation where my principles were not supported.
My partner, my editor, found this saying on the web as he was editing one of my blogs last week. Since it applies to the topic of living by your principles I’m delighted I can use it here:
Give Yourself Permission
To Walk away From anything That Doesn’t Feel Right.
There Is No Need To Explain
Or Make Sense Of It.
Just Trust What You Feel.
Years back when I was involved with a Commission for Early Childhood Education in Oregon, a group of us created a seminar on Domestic Violence. While doing research for this project I learned that often, it took an abused person up to seven times
of hearing the message that they did not have to stay in a dangerous or unsafe situation, before they had the courage to leave such a situation. Clearly this is a time where your principles tell you what you should do and yet, for many reasons, it is difficult to change the direction of your life.
I certainly hope this isn’t your situation, however, if you find yourself in danger or feel your children are in danger, I strongly urge you to remember principle eight on my list, “Each person needs to feel safe.” and find an environment where you are in a “safe place”.
Hopefully the above provides a wide range of examples, examples that range from the relatively minor to some that have a major impact on your life, of how your principles can guide you to a more peaceful life.
Tomorrow I will take up what role principles can play in your child's life.