The truth of the matter is that there is no perfect way to be parents and all of us can use parenting advice from time to time. That said, the old-school vs. new-school battle in parenting tips and styles continues to burn with Amy Chua, The Tiger Mother, at one end, and Faber and Mazlish at the other. Regardless of which end of the disciplinary spectrum you’re on, there are some parenting rules, which we all agree on and most of them aren’t new but could use a slightly refreshing update.
In 1962, Walter W. Sackett, Jr. wrote in Bringing Up Babies, “If we teach our children that everything is provided to them with demand, we have to admit the possibility that we are sowing the seeds of socialism.” We are not defending the generation of rights that seems to be upon us, but we also do not believe that it will lead to a generation of dictators. Here are 12 parenting rules that could be modernized to help us all in better parenting.
1. I’m not here to be your friend
We understand that you don’t want to be easy prey for your kids to get over you, but do you think that’s what your child thinks of their friends? It’s true you shouldn’t be like a partner of your child,” but research shows that parents who communicate, respect, and show empathy for their children are going to receive the same in return.
2. Children need to learn to be entertained for their upbringing
Part of the development of the child’s brain occurs when they play and the game between parents and children has unique advantages.
3. Children should be seen but not heard
A recent survey in the UK found that nine out of ten parents include their children in the main decisions.
4. You can’t leave the table until you finish the dish
Part of the reason for our generation’s obesity is suspected to be that many of us were part of the “clean plate club” as children. The ability to eat beyond the satiety point is not something we want to teach our children. Who knows? We could reverse the obesity epidemic by simply letting our children learn to listen to their inner cues.
5. Because I say it doesn’t help with a good parenting
This should be the last answer you give. Sure, it’s good to avoid an explanation as to why they’re not allowed to go outside and it could lead to a candid conversation where you admit you’re too tired to play outside now, but a genuine dialogue with your child is always the best option. Recent research shows that an authoritarian style of parenting could be linked to substance abuse afterward.
6. Don’t talk unless I ask you
We don’t hear this rule much anymore, thank God. Children who become submissive and servile in this way often struggle with their communication skills in the future. In addition, their self-esteem and self-confidence can be damaged.
Study after study has shown that whipping is bad. They hinder mental and emotional development in children. At this point, nearly every authoritative voice on raising children, including the American Association of Pediatrics, says no to whipping.
8. Before dark back home
It is currently a sad reality that very few parents feel safe to let children play outside alone during the day, let alone at dusk. We cannot let our children run freely through the vicinity without supervision. It’s sad but it’s true.
9. The myth that you have to let babies cry for a good parenting
There is no research to support this or the opposite, The good news is that either way, you are faced with fussy babies who do not want to sleep and it is not likely to be harmful to your little one. It’s simply a matter of finding a solution that works best for you and your child.
10. Don’t answer me doesn’t help with a good parenting
Of course, you want to teach your children good manners and respect for others but, if you do it well, your job should also be that they feel comfortable expressing opinions even (and perhaps especially) when they are different from those around them.
11. No TV
Between computers, smartphones, tablets, and TVs, technology is and always will be a big part of our children’s lives. Limiting technology time is a personal decision of each parent for their own families, but it is not an easy task.
12. No appointments until college
Michelle Obama allows her teenage daughter Malia to date, and even if you’re tempted by the chastity belts of yesteryear, we recognize that experiencing a relationship before age 18 is probably a healthy thing.
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