Parent's Resource Center

By Cheryl Gochnauer


The beginning of a new year is a natural time to muse over fresh ideas And commitments, and the homefront is a perfect place to start. For 2002, I'm resolving to take conscious steps to improve my relationship with my kids, my spouse, and myself.


Catch your eye with a smile and a wink; to prove I love you everyday.

Notice good stuff on your report card first, bad stuff second, and grade
It all in perspective.

Be affectionate with Daddy in your presence so you can learn how to treat your own mate someday. I'll not hide minor disagreements, but will avoid being petty so you can learn how to work through conflict while maintaining another person's dignity.

Encourage you to spend time with your sibling, even if there is a gap in your ages. We'll discover activities you can enjoy together, and I'll Treat you in such a manner that you'll realize you're both my favorite child.

Resist trying to fix all your problems. Instead, I'll give insight on possible actions you might take by asking you questions you can answer yourself.

Treat you so you never doubt my love for you, even when I am disciplining you. I will speak well of you in public, and never intentionally humiliate you.

Praise but not flatter you, and thereby build in you a fair sense of your abilities. We'll work together to temper any perceived weaknesses, and pursue your known strengths so that, this time next year, you'll be that much more rooted as you look toward future plans.


Make time to freshen up, both physically and mentally, a half an hour Before we get together after work each day. If that means putting on makeup in the car, I'll do it!

Monitor your nonverbal signals and avoid being "chatty" if you're not. I'll let you finish your story of what happened at work, without interrupting with my own day's crisis.

Resist asking you to fix anything until after dessert. Unless it's leaking. Or smoking.

Spend an evening each week talking alone with you, whether away from home or relaxing while the kids are out at an activity or with a sitter. I'll also encourage you to carve out occasional getaways with each of our children, where they can have you all to themselves.

Encourage you to develop close friendships with other men who share your moral values and treasure their families.

Tell you everyday that I love you, and prove it in action and in word.

Remember you'll be here long after the kids are gone, so our relationship is the most important one under this roof.


Do what I can, and guiltlessly let the rest wait. I'll try to be content in whatever circumstances I happen to be.

Strive to be the best thing that happened in someone's life today.

Keep everything in perspective and not over-react. Unless it's leaking. or smoking.

Accept the love of family and friends, and reflect it right back.

Plant happy memories in my children's thoughts, and water them daily with encouragement and humor.

(Comments? Write or visit her website at Copyright 2001, 2002 Homebodies.Org, LLC.)

Cheryl Gochnauer is the founder of Homebodies ( and author of "So You Want to Be a Stay-at-Home Mom." Read a sample chapter from her book at and check out the friendly messageboards at, where you can interact with other at-home parents.

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