Try parenting like the Amish

Photo © Christian Kieffer - Fotolia

Adapting parenting techniques from Amish communities can help you mold your children into well-adjusted adults

We all want our kids to be well-behaved. Sometimes it’s not so easy to reach this goal, since there are so many distractions along the way. But, if we go back to the basics of child-rearing, we may be able to re-establish some of our parenting goals in order to create happy, well-adjusted children. One community that accomplishes this is the Amish.

“More than Happy: The Wisdom of Amish Parenting”, by Serena B. Miller and Paul Stuzman, is a new book that takes an in-depth look at the practices and principles of Amish parents. After reading, you will have an idea of how the Amish raise their children to be self-sufficient, hard-working, and remarkably happy. Here are a few ways in which they accomplish this:

Qualities of Amish households

Be hospitable to those around you. Most Amish families are pretty large and people are in and out of each other’s homes constantly. Their children grow up surrounded by people who love them and share their family’s values.

Limit technology in your home. Though your children may not love this one, technology is not a part of the Amish lifestyle. It does not overpower their lives. Cut back on technology use by limiting the amount of time your kids have access to it. Be sure to monitor their use when they do have it available to them.

Make chores a family activity. Amish children start helping around the house at a very young age. The reason for this is that Amish parents want their children to feel like they are part of a community. It gives them a sense of accomplishment and contribution, and it can help them learn to be more empathetic. This can also contribute to their academic success.

Stress to your children that they should consider the needs of others before their own. Amish parents stress uffgeva, which is a Pennsylvania-Dutch word that means putting the needs of others above your own. This helps their children be less arrogant and minimizes the value of pride.

Make sure your children know that family always comes first. It takes precedence over careers or individual desires. Generally, Amish men and women marry young, have many children, and do not get divorced. Family is next to godliness in their eyes. Most Amish couples live near their parents, and that structure creates stability for their growing family. 

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