The Rules of Family Man: Nurturing and Learning from Parenthood

Being a family man is a journey filled with love, growth, and challenges. Along the way, we learn valuable lessons about parenting and the unique dynamics within a family. The following set of rules serves as a guide, reminding us of important principles that can contribute to a fulfilling and harmonious family life.

  1. Children are not pets: Recognize that children are not possessions or objects to be controlled. They are individuals with their own thoughts, feelings, and aspirations. Treat them with respect and foster an environment that encourages their personal growth and independence.
  2. The life they actually live and the life you perceive them to be living is not the same life: Acknowledge that your perception of your children’s lives may not always reflect their reality. Allow them the space to express themselves and share their experiences openly. Listen without judgment and strive to understand their unique perspectives.
  3. Don’t take what your children do too personally: Children’s actions and decisions are not always a reflection of your parenting. Avoid taking their behavior too personally. Instead, focus on guiding them and helping them learn from their experiences.
  4. Don’t keep score cards on them – a short memory is useful: Avoid keeping a tally of your children’s mistakes or shortcomings. Holding onto past grievances only hinders their growth and your relationship with them. Embrace a forgiving and understanding approach, allowing them to learn and grow from their missteps.
  5. Dirt and mess are a breeding ground for well-being: Recognize that a little mess and chaos are natural parts of childhood. Allow your children to explore, create, and make a mess without excessive criticism. Embrace the joy and freedom that comes with unstructured play and imaginative expression.
  6. Stay out of their rooms after puberty: Respect your children’s privacy as they grow older. Give them the space they need to develop a sense of independence and personal boundaries. Trust that they will come to you when they need guidance or support.
  7. Don’t worry that they never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you: Realize that your actions speak louder than your words. Model the behaviors, values, and attitudes you want to instill in your children. Be mindful of the influence you have on them through your actions, as they are constantly observing and learning from you.
  8. Learn from them; they have much to teach you: Recognize that parenthood is not just about teaching and guiding; it is also about learning from your children. Embrace the lessons they offer through their unique perspectives, curiosity, and innate wisdom. Be open to the growth and transformation that they inspire within you.
  9. Love them long; let them go early: Love your children unconditionally and cherish the moments you have with them. As they grow older, support their journey towards independence and self-discovery. Allow them the freedom to explore the world and make their own choices, knowing that you will always be there for them.


Being a family man is a lifelong commitment filled with love, learning, and growth. By following these rules, we can nurture a strong and healthy family dynamic, fostering an environment where our children can thrive. Remember that parenting is a continuous journey of discovery, and it is through our children’s own experiences and choices that we gain insight into our own roles as parents. Embrace the joys and challenges of parenthood, and trust that the love and guidance you provide will have a lasting impact on their lives.