A conversation tonight provoked this question, and I was surprised I had not thought it through more clearly. I guess my answers sort of evolve through the doing, but here’s a rough estimate of what I strive for as a parent:

1. Patience
2. Nonviolence
3. Patience
4. Sobriety
5. Patience
6. A commitment to self care
7. Patience
8. Modeling one’s ideals
9. Patience
10. Clear, honest communiction
11. Patience
12. Humor
13. Patience
14. Attention and energy flowing toward the child
15. Patience
16. Physical stamina (obviously you can be a great parent without this, but it’s a damn useful tool)
17. Patience
18. An ability and willingness to set clear, consistent limits
19. Patience
20. Creativity and encouragement of free expression

What do you think makes great parenting? I’m curious what my fellow parents and not parents think of these issues. If you have kids, I’m curious if your perspective changed after they were born.