There are many, many reasons why I love the Ezzo parenting philosophies. First, the books are incredibly comprehensive. There are books and audio recordings for virtually every age, ranging from infant on up to the teen years. If you have a problem, you are bound to find an answer in at least one of the books. And there are books for those of faith and those seeking a more secular approach. Second, and perhaps more important, the philosophies are so very balanced. While you can classify this parenting style as strict, the books are full of thoughts on encouraging children, teaching them, speaking their love language, and more. And finally, it works!
Here’s an attempt to break down the most important components of parenting the Ezzo way:
Establish a routine
Kids thrive on a routine, especially one that encourages healthy eating and sleeping habits.
The marriage priority
Putting the marriage first ensures a strong foundation to the family, which kids need in order to feel secure.
Child-centered parenting is discouraged
For their own good, we should not put our children at the center of the family. Our kids are welcome members of the family but not the center of it. This fosters a sense of “we-ism” not “me-ism”. It encourages kids to think of others.
The parent as teacher
Our role as parents is to teach our children how to behave and act in the various scenarios they will encounter throughout their lives. We cannot just leave them to flounder and figure it out on their own.
Parenting with intent
Parenting with intent means that you decide now how you would like your child to behave in the future. You decide what sort of moral foundation you will instill in your child. You set goals and work towards them. You think through how your actions today will affect your child tomorrow. Without this, parents can fall into accidental parenting and end up with kids they don’t enjoy and cannot control.
A healthy respect for age, authority and other moral foundations
Our job as parents is to teach not only right behaviors but instill in them a solid moral foundation.
Two sides of the same coin: encouragement and correction
While we certainly need to correct our kids’ behaviors, we also need to encourage and motivate them. It’s all about balance.
The idea of love languages is explored in a separate book, but it is a philosophy the Ezzos endorse. As parents, it is our job to learn how our kids express and receive love and to love them according to their unique love language.
I could go on, but these are the most important principles as I see them.