Rules for Parents
Here are some simple rules I thought of recently that I think all parents
should follow. After reading them, you may think they would be obvious
to anyone. Unfortunately, they are definitely not obvious, at least to some
parents. If you disagree with me, write your own rules. This should at
least give you something to think about.
- Be a good role model.
- Basically, do not do anything you would not want your children to be
doing. Your children learn a lot more from your actions than from
your words. If you have special rules that you want them to follow
(going to bed early or whatever), then explain your reasons. Do not
rely only on your parental authority to enforce your rules. Also
remember that nobody is perfect; sometimes you will do something wrong
and your kid will catch you. Admit your mistakes! If your children
know that even their parents screw up sometimes, they will be
less afraid to come forward and admit their own mistakes.
- Communicate with your children.
- Nothing is more important to a relationship, including the relationship
between parent and child, than communication. Communication means
more than telling your kids what you want them to do. It means
listening to what they have to say. Talk with your kids regularly, and
respect their opinions. Often communication includes listening to
what your children are not saying. You should know your
children better than anyone else, and be able to detect when they have
a problem. Respect your child's privacy, however. In most cases, it is
better to let them know that you are always ready to listen than it is
to force them to tell you something.
- Let your children make their own decisions.
- This is probably the hardest guideline for parents to follow. They
instinctively want to protect their children and keep them from
making "wrong" choices. Children have their own thoughts
and opinions; they are not just smaller copies of their parents. Of
course if a child is doing something seriously wrong (i.e. illegal)
then a parent should intervene. However, if the parent is truly a
positive role model, then hopefully this would never be necessary.
- Support your childrens' decisions.
- The previous rule should not be interpreted to say children should
not be supervised. One of the best things a parent can do is give
their child encouragement to succeed in whatever activity they
choose. Children will make better decisions if they know they can
always count on their parents' love and support.
Disclaimer: I am not a psychologist or family therapist,
and I have no training in this field. I'm just this guy, you know, who
happens to have parents. These are just my opinions, so don't sue me.
This document created using Notepad for Windows NT. ^_^
Maintained by David Park.
Last updated: Apr. 5, 1996 2:15PM EST