Hi, I’m Mo, and I’m a parent. That sounds like something I’d say introducing myself at a self help group doesn’t it? The funny thing about my personal story is that is sort of my job. I am a parent that takes my experience with me to work. I’m pretty lucky in that way because I absolutely love children! I find them honest and charming and funny and brash and outrageous and demanding and prickly and sweet. Phew, that only covers a small part of what makes me so fond of little folks!
Today I wanted to talk about positive parenting. You might have heard about how corrupt our educational systems are because they are wasting too much energy on creating kids with self esteem Hmmm, as if that is a bad thing. Personally I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all. I think children should feel good about themselves. I think adults should respect small children. I think we should listen to kids. I think it is imperative that kids feel proud of themselves. I think that helps people learn. So, to be completely frank, I think the people that belly-ache about our kids turning into monsters because they feel good about themselves are talking nonsense.
Some folks want children to conform to specific guidelines. These people have mile markers established for when babies must be able to hold their own bottle. They must be potty trained by this age! They must speak at this age. They must read and write by this age! The bad news is humans don’t work that way. We can pressure kids and embarrass them but that really isn’t going to help matters much. They’ll learn when they are good and ready and despite what a lot of educators say there is no sure-fire method of training a child. In order for a child to learn they need to be active participants in the process!
I’m not promising that a laid back attitude will help junior or junior miss turn into a genius. That isn’t how it works either. Experience shows that children that are nurtured in environments with a lot of stimulating material learn more. Children who have parents who interact with them also absorb more. So if you want your children to grow up learning make sure there are materials available that will stretch their minds and make sure you are present with them so that they know you care about them.
My advice isn’t going to guarantee you a genius kid who becomes a doctor or a lawyer or an engineer- that might happen, but my advice is more about parents having a pleasant family life now and trust me… in that atmosphere your children will blossom.
Okay, so simple advice from this old mother hen is
1) Children learn through play. Play with them!
2) You are your child’s best teacher. Teach them by doing.
3) If you want your children to talk to you then you have to listen!
4)Respect isn’t earned, it should always be present. Confidence is earned.
I’m not all that. In my own estimation I’ve failed my children more times than I can count- but then, in my defense, I’m still learning!
PS- If you ever want to talk about parenting feel free to send me a note at email@example.com.