Tip for Parents #66
Our culture tells us that our kids are not resilient and need to be treated like babies no matter their age. Reject it.
Our culture says that our kids need to have every aspect of their existence curated for them. Throw away that notion.
Our culture says that our kids are in constant danger and need to be kept in their rooms staring at a screen surrounded by bubble wrap. Discard that idea.
Reality says that our kids are strong, resilient beings who get stronger when challenged. They get more resilient when they need to be. Reality says that our kids rise to the challenge when they have to. Reality says that out kids can be the warriors, teachers, doctors, engineers, coaches, laborers, moms, and dads who can lead our country to be better and stronger than it is now.
Our culture is wrong when it comes to how we are told to raise our kids. As parents, we need to have the strength to reject it and do what is best for our kids.
Tip for Parents #67
PARENTS ARE AT THE TOP OF A HIERARCHY
A family is a hierarchy, not a collective. While parents should give kids healthy amounts of control over their lives, that control should be within the parameters set by parents.
Tip for Parents #68
SOMETIMES THE MOST SUPPORTIVE WAY TO SUPPORT IS TO GIVE ZERO SUPPORT
You know your kid. You know what they can do. When they say that they can’t do something and you know that they CAN do it, you shouldn’t help them. Helping in this case communicates a low opinion of their abilities. Simply handing problems back to them in a loving way is the best course of action. It says, “I love you, and this is your problem.” Here are some responses to pleas for help when your kid doesn’t really need it:
“Ooh. I’m going to let you figure this one out.”
“Ugh. Tough one. You can solve this.”
“Hmm. You know what to do.”
Any attempts (probable as they may be) at arguing over the subject at hand should be met with the same question:
“And what did I say?”
Tip for Parents #69
DON’T GET CAUGHT IN THE COMPASSION TRAP
This can happen when talking to other adults about parenting. One parent says something that sounds really sensitive and compassionate, but doesn’t make any sense to you. Instead of disagreeing or even asking for clarification, you either agree or remain silent, because you don’t want to appear to be the mean parent. You are thereby ensnared in the Compassion Trap.
The result is that, in order to save face, we don’t learn effective strategies of holding kids accountable or effectively guiding them to use positive behaviors. Instead, people often just try to use “Be nice to the kid” as their only behavior management strategy. Then, when kids are not held accountable for negative behaviors, their behaviors get worse and worse. Then, if you are an evil and horrible person like I am, you might snap and act with anger or even rage.
Not very compassionate.
Tip for Parents #70
THE CUTEST PARENTING ANSWER IS USUALLY THE WRONG ONE
It’s hard to sift through parenting advice in a world that has so much terrible parenting advice, but here’s a hint: the cutest answer is wrong. It reminds me of when I learned multiple choice test-taking strategies as a kid. There was always one ridiculous answer that you knew you could throw out even if you had no idea what the right answer was.
The cutest answer is pretty much always that one that you just know isn’t right when you are trying to figure out how to stop a negative behavior.