Monday, September 23, 2013

Parents Don't Always Have to Be Right


Girl with Unhappy Mother by David Castillo Dominici via Freedigitalphotos.net

One thing I think that contributes to my kids being emotionally healthy, is the fact that I don't always have to make all the decisions or be right all the time.

No one likes:

A know-it-all
Someone who's bossy
A person who is overly competitive and always has to win



Do you feel that you are any of these? 

Of course you don't. You might assume you're just being a 'parent'. Well, I hate to tell you this, but sometimes parents can be annoying.

1. Understand that although your child is younger than you, it does not mean that they don't know how to do something better than you or have learned something you don't know.

2. Just because your kids are part of you does NOT mean that they have to think, behave or do things the way you do (or the way you want them to). 

3. Kids are individuals, not puppets. They have their own brains, beliefs, and ideas about the world, and sometimes (maybe more) they will not see things the way that you do.

4. Kids need freedom. Freedom from judgement, being ridiculed and being controlled. Let some things go. Pick your battles and let kids learn life lessons by giving them opportunities to make their own choices. No matter the outcome, if it's not harming them, they should learn both good and bad consequences.
 (This begins with your toddler... Do you have Terrible Twos? Maybe you are being too overbearing with them. Back off and see if that helps.)

5. Don't EVER EVER say "I told you so." EVER.

6. Don't keep arguing your point. State it and be done with it (avoid lectures). They don't hear much after the first six words anyways.

7. Let younger kids win sometimes. My father never let me win at chess. As a result, I hated playing the  game...and really didn't enjoy playing with him either.

8. If you offer your child (especially the older ones and most especially adult children) something, and they don't want it, or don't want your advice, just drop it. Yes, drop it. The more you push, the stronger their feelings of defiance and rebellion become. Let go of your 'want' for them. Let them lead their own life.

9. Stop trying to prove yourself. Don't argue a point if you know you're wrong- (Again, it's that 'let it go' thing.)

10. Stop trying to be perfect. When I fall apart once in a while, burn something in the oven, forget to pay a bill, apologize, my kids realize they don't have to push themselves to be perfect. They can do their best and that will be acceptable. 

11. Learn how to apologize.

Kids rarely hear adults apologize (to each other, let alone to a child). 
Fess up, make it known you are aware of your actions and that you will hold yourself accountable. This one right here earns respect.


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