Baby (musical) - Wikipedia
Like everyone, I want my children to love me. I want them to sing my praises and appreciate me. But if I'm doing my job right, they'll get mad and not like me sometimes. They'll roll their eyes, moan and groan, and wish they'd been born into another family.
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Seeking to be our child's BFF can only lead to permissiveness and choices made out of desperation because we fear losing their approval. That's not love on our end; that's need. Mistake 6: Engaging in competitive parenting. Every parent has a competitive streak.
All it takes to stir this monster in us is another parent giving his or her child a leg up at our child's expense. I hear these stories a lot at the junior high and high school levels, stories of broken friendships and betrayals due to one family blindsiding another family. In my opinion, the root is fear. We fear our children will get left behind. We fear that if we don't jump into the craziness, and pull out every stop to help them excel early, they'll be stuck in mediocrity the rest of their life.
I believe children need to work hard and understand that dreams don't come on a silver platter; they have to sweat and fight for them.
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But when we instill a "win at all costs" attitude, permitting them to throw anyone under the bus to get ahead, we lose sight of character. Mistake 5: Missing the wonder of childhood. The other day I found a Strawberry Shortcake sticker on my kitchen sink.
It reminded me how blessed I am to share my home with little people. One day there won't be stickers on my sink. My windows will be clear of sticky handprints, and my home will be quiet because my daughters will be hanging out with friends instead of nesting at home with me. Raising small children can be hard, monotonous work. At times it's so physically and emotionally exhausting we wish they were older to make our life easier. We're also kind of curious who they'll grow up to be. What will be their passion? Will their God-given gifts be clear? As parents we hope so, for knowing which strengths to nurture enables us to point them in the right direction.
But as we project into the future, wondering if our child's knack for art will make them a Picasso, or if their melodic voice will create a Taylor Swift, we may forget to soak up the splendor in front of us: toddlers in footed pajamas, bedtime stories, tummy tickles and elated squeals. We may forget to let our children be little and enjoy the one childhood they're given. The pressures on kids start way too early.
"We believe every child deserves the right to reach his or her full potential"
If we really want our kids to have a leg up, we need to protect them from these pressures. We need to let them have fun and grow at their own pace so 1 they can explore their interests without fear of failure and 2 they don't get burned out. Childhood is a time for free play and discovery. When we rush children through it, we rob them of an innocent age they'll never pass through again.
Mistake 4: Raising the child we want, not the child we have. As parents we harbor dreams for our children. They start when we get pregnant, before the gender's even known. Secretly we hope they'll be like us, only smarter and more talented. We want to be their mentors, putting our life experiences to good use. But the irony of parenting is that children turn our molds upside down.
They come out wired in ways we never anticipated. Our job is to figure out their inherent, God-ordained bent and train them in that direction. Forcing our dreams on them won't work. Only when we see them for who they are can we impact their life powerfully. Mistake 3: Forgetting our actions speak louder than words.
Sometimes when my kids ask a question, they'll say, "Please answer in one sentence. I want to fill them with wisdom, but what I forget is how my example overshadows my words. How I handle rejection and adversity And the way I respond gives them permission to act the same.
If I want my children to be wonderful, I need to aim for wonderful, too. I need to be the person I hope they'll be. Mistake 2: Judging other parents -- and their kids. No matter how much we disagree with someone's parenting style, it's not our place to judge. Nobody in this world is "all good" or "all bad"; we're all a mix of both, a community of sinners struggling with different demons. Personally, I tend to cut other parents more slack when I'm going through hard spells.
When my child is testing me, I'm compassionate to parents in the same boat. When my life is overwhelming, I'm forgiving of others who slip up and let things fall through the cracks. We never know what someone's going through or when we'll need mercy ourselves.
And while we can't control judgmental thoughts, we can cut them short by seeking to understand the person instead of jumping to conclusions.
Character, moral fiber, an inner compass They matter more than any report card or trophy ever will. None of us can force character on our kids, and at age 10 or 15 character won't mean much. Children care about short-term gratification, but we, as parents, know better. We know that what will matter at 25, 30 and 40 is not how far they once threw the football, or whether they made cheerleader, but how they treat others and what they think of themselves.
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If we want them to build character, confidence, strength and resilience, we need to let them face adversity and experience the pride that follows when they come out stronger on the other side. It's hard to see our children fall, but sometimes we have to. Sometimes we have to ask ourselves whether intervening is in their best interest. There are a million ways to love a child, but in our quest to make them happy, let us stay mindful that sometimes it takes short-term pain to earn long-term gain. This post originally appeared on karikampakis. Also on HuffPost:. Real Life. Real News.
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