How to raise a child:
1. Raise them up. Praise the hell out of them, and not for their results or accomplishments, but their effort at anything, their kindness, and their authenticity.
2. Raise their spirits -- whenever you can, wherever you all are. I can't stress enough just how uber-important it is for our kids, above all else, to feel loved, supported and for them to laugh as much as they can in a 24-hour period.
3. Raise their minds. Bring them up to be critical thinkers. Encourage creativity. Tell them that there isn't a box for them to fit into and thank God for that, 'cause us humans weren't meant to be trapped. Stress to them the importance of educating oneself and doing such as much in the real world through conversations with others and time with nature, as with books.
4. Raise them to seek peace -- with other people, expectations and experiences, and within their head and heart. Mindfulness requires awareness and takes practice, and for our kids to achieve such, we must, daily, be a work-in-progress example of such.
5. Raise them using love and patience. I repeat, love and patience, not impatience and frustration which, for us, overworked anxiety-ridden adults, are our go-to reactive emotions. No child is raised better than the one who guided by a compassionate, understanding and calm parent, as opposed to a critical, judgmental and quick to exasperate (and show it) one.
6. Raise them to accept others, exactly as they are, and you can model this decent human behavior by simply accepting them for who they are. You know what else? Accept yourself -- all of you, including those worth being noted (in your opinion) flaws -- and your child will embrace their entire being as well.
7. Raise them to have a voice, but not to raise it's level unless they can do so respectfully and with great impetus for positive action.
8. Raise them to know a higher power in whatever form they desire so that as they get older they trust and have faith that although there are things in this world far beyond their control, there's a rhyme and reason for it all.
9. Raise them to value human connection and encourage them to seek it out, as there's no better feeling in this world than feeling supported in your life journey be it by family, friends or any other carefully crafted or makeshift village or tribe.
10. Raise them to always give their best, but also to understand that one's "best" looks, feels and acts different on any given day, though never any less impressive.
Parenting sure is hard these days, but raising your child right merely requires that you are intentional with your child-rearing and that you raise those super impressionable, sponge-like, mini-humans with love-guided purpose.