The husband and I were invited to give a parenting talk at our older kids’ school last week. We LOVE this school, and just had to say yes. It was a good time, although I will say that it was a different experience than my usual public speaking, as we were giving a talk to a roomful of people who know not only Jim and I, but also our kids! 😆 #nowheretohide

Parenting has been a frequent topic on this blog, but quite a few of those posts date all the way back to the very beginning (circa 2013) so some of you may not have read all the way back that far, or if you have, it’s been a while!

There were quite a few requests for us to record the talk, so we did! And I’d like to share it with you here. But first: a disclaimer.

I do not claim to be a parenting expert. That term kind of makes me feel squirmy, and conjures up a mental picture of stern faced lab-coated sixties-types telling mothers the one way to do things that they claim applies to all parents and children and situations and if you don’t do it you will fail and your children will probably become strippers.

This is not advice like that.

Our one rule and our general parenting philosophy is the result of sixteen years and nine kids (so far). It is adaptable to YOUR parenting style, and your kids, and your temperament, and your circumstances. I cannot yet claim that it will result in adults who are happy and pleasant and contributing members of society. We don’t yet have anyone launched into the real world. But I can say that, in our home, with our kids, this approach has resulted in toddlers AND teenagers who are happy and pleasant and contributing members of our household.

So, this is the ONE rule of parenting that covers our entire parenting philosophy, and it’s definitely made for a less hectic home: Always Mean What You Say. In this talk Jim and I cover the one rule, reasons you might want to try it, how we implement it in ten different scenarios, and some thoughts about our duty as parents. There’s also a Q&A session at the end. I think my favorite was the question about how we parents can hope to instill virtue in our kids, if we’re still working on growing in virtue ourselves. It’s fully captioned (which is why it took me so long to get it posted!) so if you’re having trouble with the audio, just hit that little CC.

Here are some links you might find useful . . .

My blog posts from which this talk was taken:

Always Mean What You Say: The HOW of Parenting With Authority

Parenting With Authority

How to be the Boss of a One Year Old

Them’s the Rules (Our family rules, and a closer look at these tiles that we reference in the talk.)

The discipline book by Dr. Ray that we mention: Discipline That Lasts a Lifetime

Jim’s The Dad Project podcast on creating a family culture.

My book on living the liturgical year in the home.

And, by popular demand, the Tierney Family Rules are now available in the Catholic All Year Digital Shop, as . . .

Two 8.5×11 inch Collages of All 22 Rules
One 8.5×11 Collage of 20 Rules

And . . .

The Complete Set of 22 Individual Square Images, like we have in our mudroom.

I hope you’ll give our one rule a try, and see if it helps YOUR home!