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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"And I'm the strange parent?" Parenting habits that don't make sense.


There are a lot of things we do with our kids that don’t really make much sense to me. From simple things like telling our kids not to talk to strangers and then getting upset with them when they refuse to sit on Santa’s lap, to hitting a child to teach them not to hit.

We send children conflicting messages on a regular basis, and we don’t even realize we are doing it. People call their children brats and then are somehow surprised when they act like one. Some call their kids dumb, some call them lazy, some call them fat. 
 
When you label a person, they tend to become the label. When we label our children negatively, the negative effects show. When we label them positively, they actually live up to those labels.

Parenting is an art, not a science.

I’ve also never understood the concept of forcing a child to clean their plate, especially when we have such a high rate of obesity in our country. Yes, they need to eat healthy, but that doesn’t mean they need to eat when they aren’t hungry.

Sometimes, rules were meant to be broken. 
 
Part of the art of parenting is knowing when to bend the rules and when to break them totally. The most fun we have had as a family were the times we broke the rules; the days we ate dessert before dinner, stayed up way past bedtime to do something silly, or took a day off to just go hang out.

Many of us have forgotten what it is like to be a kid. When you look at things from their point of view, you see things you never noticed before. The world can be a very confusing place for a child, and as parents we need to remember that. 
 
They are people too, and they have a right to be heard just as much as we do. That doesn’t mean we always have to give in, but we can at least take the time to listen to them, to validate their feelings and explain our point of view. 
 
Most of all, I have never understood why people think we are raising children in the first place. We are raising adults, and we only have 18 years to get it right. If we screw it up, there can be hell to pay. Just something else to think about...

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