Tip for Parents #61
RESPONSIBILITY IS A SIMPLE EXPECTATION CREATED BY PARENTS
Kids have a responsibility to help in maintaining a functional home environment. They are to be working partners with all of the other members of the household to keep the house clean, the laundry done, and the lawn mowed.
This is how kids learn to be responsible for maintaining a functional society. While it can be done, it is not a healthy, functional plan to leave this teaching of responsibility to teachers and schools.
Tip for Parents #62
STAY THE COURSE
It’s very easy to get pulled in the wrong direction by mainstream thoughts on parenting that tell you to act like your kids are china dolls, to allow them to spend endless time online, and to treat them like a visiting head of state instead of a kid who has homework to do and chores to finish.
You are right and our culture is wrong.
Tip for Parents #63
THE BEST WAY TO RAISE KIDS IS ALSO THE MOST EXCITING WAY TO BE RAISED
Allowing kids to be responsible for their own actions and inactions, allowing them to rise and fall on their own merits, and allowing them to own their own successes and failures gives your kids an exciting childhood.
Tip for Parents #64
TRYING TO FIX YOUR KIDS’ SADNESS IS HURTFUL
(AND YOU CAN’T DO IT ANYWAY)
Your kid will be sad sometimes. Maybe your kid will be sad a lot. Trying to make your kid happy when they are sad hurts them. Instead, just empathize. “I am so sorry that you are sad” and “This has got to be really hard” can show that you care, that your love is not conditional on everything being fine, and that it’s OK to feel sad.
When we take control of kids’ lives by rearranging the world in an attempt to make their lives happier, we give the implicit message that we are in charge of making them happy (we’re not). This causes more sadness and often depression because now, in addition to being sad, the kid will feel that he’s not capable of making himself happier. So instead of thinking to himself, “I’m sad,” he is more likely to think, “I’m sad and there is nothing I can possibly do about it.”
Empathizing and asking kids what they are going to do to help themselves feel better is a better practice that leads to a feeling of autonomy.
You, as the parent, have the power to make your kid feel loved and cared for, but only your kid can strive to make themselves happy.
(And this is not to say that there’s anything wrong with trying to cheer your kid up. That’s different. Be silly with them. Joke around and get them to laugh. Get kids out of doldrums. Just don’t rearrange the world to try to make it a world where your kid will be happy. That won’t work.)
Tip for Parents #65
FEEL THE MOMENT
Parenting and life can be stressful. Because of this, you will not always be able to enjoy your kids. As you know, sometimes you are just trying to survive. Sometimes you are just trying to get your kids to school or order Christmas presents while the baby is screaming. Those are not fun times.
Therefore, when the fates allow, when things are low stress, feel that moment and make a point to stop and enjoy your kids. I know it’s easy to say, but hard to do. It takes a long time to downshift out of stress or panic mode. Your brain is built for survival, not happiness.
Do what you can to find those moments when you can enjoy your kids.