Parenting Blog

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"Returning ourselves back to a state of love is our number one responsibility. While it is important to our children, we owe it to ourselves, as well. We deserve to be living in a state of peace and calm." -- Heather T. Forbes

There's a reason the airlines tell us to put on our own oxygen masks first.  Kids can't reach those masks or be relied on to use them properly.  If we lose function, our kids can't save us, or themselves. So even if we would sacrifice ourselves to save our kids, it's our responsibility to put on our own masks first.  READ POST

Thursday, August 23, 2012 | Permalink

"Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in." - Leonard Cohen

Imagine that guilt is like a red light blinking on your dashboard.  When you see it, you:

a) Redouble your efforts to attain perfection, even if it’s giving you a headache.
b) Flog yourself.
c) Pull out the wire so it stops blinking, and go have a drink.
d) Thank the guilt and tell it to take a break.
  Then use the opportunity to check in: What could you do differently to be the parent you want your kids to have, while at the same time being kind to yourself?   READ POST

Tuesday, August 21, 2012 | Permalink

"In a poll commissioned by Time and CNN, two-thirds of American parents said they think that their children are spoiled." - Elizabeth Kolbert,  Spoiled Rotten: Why do kids rule the roost?

"A girl can't spoil herself, you know.” - Roald Dahl

I haven't been able to track down the CNN poll quoted by Kolbert, in which 2/3 of parents in the US reportedly said their child is spoiled.  I find it hard to believe, frankly.  If they really think that, why are they doing the spoiling?

Except that I do hear often from parents who worry about whether they're too permissive. How can they be sure their child isn't becoming spoiled?

So let's address this issue head-on.  Parenting is hard.  You want to be compassionate, but you also want your child to learn appropriate lessons and not to be "spoiled" -- meaning a person who cares only about himself, isn't resilient, doesn't pitch in, or is discontent, greedy and "entitled."  So you want a child who is resilient, self-disciplined, generous, happy, and willing to work hard to achieve.  Right? 

We actually know how to raise that child.  Here are your ten guidelines.  READ POST

Thursday, August 16, 2012 | Permalink

"So little is expected of kids that ...Their incompetence begets exasperation, which results in still less being asked of them." - Elizabeth Kolbert, in Spoiled Rotten: Why Do Kids Rule the Roost?” in the New Yorker.

"My little guy does not like it when I cook or do laundry or do the dishes. Why am I not paying attention to him? But I soon realized that he loves to help. He puts clothes in the washing machine, gathers potatoes to bring to the kitchen, brings me clothes hangers. And yes, it takes much longer than if I had done it all myself. But he actually squeals with delight at being given his next task. And I end up being much less frustrated."—Wendy

In Kolbert's article in the New Yorker, she describes a six year old Matsigenka child in the Amazon who takes the initiative to cook and clean for the family.  Most parents wish their kids would help more around the house.  Why aren't our children more like the Matsigenka?  READ POST

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 | Permalink

"Dr. Laura – I'm not one of those 'Count to 3 and They Jump' parents.  I was raised that way and it always seems to involve threats and harshness. But I do want my kids to listen to me, and to take No for an answer.  For instance, when I say 'It's time to clean up' they ignore me unless I yell. What's the secret?" -- Danielle

Most humans ignore things they don't want to hear, if possible.  But it is possible to get kids cooperating, without resorting to yelling, threats or harshness.  The secrets?  READ POST

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 | Permalink

“Parents want their kids’ approval, a reversal of the past ideal of children striving for their parents’ approval." - Elizabeth Kolbert, in Spoiled Rotten: Why Do Kids Rule the Roost?” in the New Yorker.

"The model of parenting most of us grew up with was authoritarian parenting, which is based on fear. Some of us may have grown up with permissive parenting, which is also based on fear. Authoritarian parenting is based on the child's fear of losing the parent's love. Permissive parenting is based on the parent's fear of losing the child's love. Connection parenting is based on love instead of fear." -- Pam Leo   READ POST

Thursday, August 09, 2012 | Permalink

"The exhausting cycle of constantly monitoring their work and performance...makes children feel less competent and confident." - Elizabeth Kolbert, in Spoiled Rotten: Why do kids rule the roost? in the New Yorker.
Photo: MMarsolais
Confidence and competence aren't just good feelings.  They make kids more resilient, resourceful, and willing to take on difficult challenges. Kids who aren't confident don't realize their full potential.  READ POST

Wednesday, August 08, 2012 | Permalink