By Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller
The 10 Commitments At a Glance
The First Commitment
I commit to remembering that experience can be messy.
I accept that sand, mud, food, paint, cooking, eating, relationships, emotions, and social interactions can be messy. I allow my children to learn from making messes and the cleanup that follows. I recognize that experience can be messy.
The Second Commitment
I commit to creating a culture of accountability in my family.
I hold my children accountable for their actions and choices with gentleness and love. I implement consequences consistently and allow my children to experience the related, respectful, reality-based consequences that flow naturally from their actions. I create a culture of accountability.
The Third Commitment
I commit to suspending judgment.
I create an atmosphere in which mistakes are seen as learning experiences and valued for the lessons they bring. I perceive my children's choices as either appropriate or as opportunities for learning and development. I do not make my children wrong for their choices, even as I hold them accountable for their actions. I suspend judgment.
The Fourth Commitment
I commit to managing my mind first.
I realize that how I approach a situation affects the outcome and that I alone control my approach. I attend to and manage my frame of mind before I approach my children. I move UP in my consciousness before I move IN with action. I manage my mind first.
The Fifth Commitment
I commit to focusing on the search for solutions.
I realize that fixing the problem is more important than fixing blame. I pledge to invest my time and effort in seeking solutions rather than in blame and punishment. I search for solutions.
The Sixth Commitment
I commit to speaking self-responsible language.
My language patterns reflect my belief in autonomy, personal responsibility, and ownership of one's actions and feelings. I learn and use language that helps my children see themselves as cause. I speak self-responsible language.
The Seventh Commitment
I commit to helping my children develop their inner authority.
I recognize that an inner authority is the only authority my children will take with them everywhere they go. To that end, I strive to make myself dispensable and to assist them in becoming increasingly in charge of themselves and their own lives. I help my children develop their inner authority.
The Eighth Commitment
I commit to modeling the message.
I recognize that attitudes are more easily caught than taught. I know that children pay more attention to what I do than to what I say. I walk my talk. I become the message I want to deliver to my children. I model the message.
The Ninth Commitment
I commit to seeing my child as teacher.
I recognize that my children are in my life as much so I can learn from them as they are so they can learn from me. I am open to the lessons my children offer me and honor them for helping me learn and grow. I see my child as teacher.
The Tenth Commitment
I commit to creating a sense of oneness in my family.
I am present for my children, helping them develop roots and feelings of belonging. I treat my children with love and caring. I create a sense of oneness in my family.
Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are the authors of Couple Talk: How to Talk Your Way to a Great Relationship (available from Personal Power Press at [toll-free] 877-360-1477). They also publish a FREE e-mail newsletter for parents and another for couples. Subscribe to both newsletters at firstname.lastname@example.org. Chick Moorman is also the author of Parent Talk: How to Talk to Your Child in Language That Builds Self-Esteem and Encourages Responsibility. Visit Chick at www.chickmoorman.com and Thomas at www.thomashaller.com.