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Ten commandments for parents.

Tuesday, Nov. 09, 2004 @ 6:50 am
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I was surfing the 'net looking for some other information when I found this. I thought it was very true, for an unknown author piece of 'net wisdom. Actually it is very close to what many parenting programs teach, and very similiar to what we were talking about at my parents class, which was actually about the "Boy's town" method, that they also use at Warren's school and which I have found works great. Part of that is probably attributed to the fact that he is getting the same thing (with some obvious differences) at home and at school.

The Ten Commandments For Parents

I will appreciate my children for who they are, not for who I want them to be.
My child is not me, my child is not an extension of who I am. My child is an unique individual human being with his own likes, dislikes, quirks, and personality. I am lucky enough to have a child who's personality is close enough to mine, with out being so close we drive each other nuts, yet no so different I look at him and wonder what the heck happened. But I am very different from my mom and that was a problem growing up, as even now there are times it is very hard for her to understand me at all, but even so I know she loves me no matter what. I long ago gave up the dream of having the child I dreamed about when I was pregnant, that was my fantasy. Warren is the reality and he doesnt' give a damn about my fantasy. He is who he is, and I have to learn to love him the way he is. To change him for my own needs would be wrong for both of us. Its a mourning for sure when you realize you child isn't what you planned, but if you love the child you deal with it and move on. I wouldn't have Warren any other way. He may not share my love of books, but he has lots of great characteristics, and he has plenty of talents.
I will relate to each child as an individual, instead of as "the kid."
I only have one child, so this isn't as much of a problem. To me Warren has always been a person, even when he was little I could never bring my self to call him the baby, he was Warren from the first minute I layed my eyes on him. I've never understood this issue actually. To me refering to the child as "the kid" or anything else of that nature (terms of enderment or screen names don't count), is like reducing them to something other than a real person.
I will take good care of myself as a person, and not live my life through my children.
As much as I am bursting with pride at what my son is able to do, and can do, I don't deserve the credit and the accolades. These are his accomplishements, and his talents. I like to bask in the glow of bragging about my child as much as any parent, but utitmalty its Warren who deserves the credit and attention not me. I know this can be a hard one, especially for parents who's kids are living the parents unfullfilled dreams, or getting the attention the parent wanted. I know I am guilty of bragging about Warren sometimes to get the spotlight on me. It is something I have to work on.
I will acknowledge each and every little acceptable behavior, not just the "biggies."
This is a big one I have learned the hard way. Even little compliments like "That was great the way you held the door for that lady with the stroller" or "Thank you so much for listening to me with out arguing, I really appreciate it, lets go play a game" can make a huge difference. I dont mean praise everytime the kid gets thier socks on (unless they are little and its a skill they are working to master), but to just notice when the child does right, not just when they do some thing major. That way the kid learns to associate parental attention as something good, and knows approval is easily possible.
I will give my children as many "facts" as I am able, and trust them to weigh these facts and make responsible decisions.
I do not believe in lying to children ever. I do believe some information is not age appropriate, but that you can tell kids the truth in an age approopriate manner with out giving them more than they are developmentally ready to handle. Warren was never told dumb stories like babies comming from the stork the way I was. He knew he came from inside mommy, long before he was ready to know or cared to know how he got there. I believe in telling my son the truth to the best his age can handle it, and setting standards and rules, but ultimately allowing him to make the decision, and conversly live with the consequences. I am doing him no favors by protecting him from the world, I would only create somebody not ready for reality (like I was). Children need to be held accountable for thier actions, and they need to be fully armed to make the best choice. Granted this generally applies to older kids, but there are times when it may apply with younger kids as well.
I will not allow my children to use or abuse me for I know this will damage them.
I have had problems with this in the past, I know at times I've made excuses for Warren and that made things worse. But now we've reached a point where I've stopped doing that and we are all better off. Back talk, disrecpect, violence, should never be tolerated. There are ways of laying down the law that respect both parent and child and also set a clear message that certain behaviors are not acceptable ever, no matter what you might see on tv, or movies, or other children. Kids need to learn from an early age, that bad behavior gets nothing, while good behavior will more likely get your way, or at least get you heard adn not get you in trouble. The first time a tantrum is rewarded the child will file that behavior away under works at least some of the time and bring it out again.
Knowing that my children are on a short-term loan to me, I will introduce them to every possible responsibility, so that they won't be too shocked at "independence."
One of the hardest parts of parenthood, is the realization that babies become toddlers, becomes preschoolers, become big kids, become teenagers, become adults on thier own. Each step bring more independances and bring the child further from the parents and less dependant, more open to other people. The biggest kick is after all those years of work and effort, one is expected to let them go and let them fly. They get to make thier own mistakes and we dont' get to pick up the pieces when they fall. Children need to be able to do things for themselves and should be respsonble for helping out and doing chores to the best they are physically and mentally capable. My son helps with dishes and laundry, and cooking, etc.. not just because I need help (which I do) but also because I will not be taking care of him forever and these are all skillls he will one day need. I wasnt' born knowing how to do these things, I learned from my parents and on my own, and so must he. Givinng children age appropriate responsiblity is not abuse it is love. Obviously a toddler would probably only help throw socks in a hamper or but spoons in a drawer, but by the time they are preteens and teens they should be able to wash dishes, run a washing machine, clean a room, do yard work and most things they will need to do when they are on thier own.
I will let my children know that I love them unconditionally, whether I like their decisions or not.
One of the more annoying parts of having children is discovering they have ideas and beliefs you dont' agree with. That they like clothes you find yuck (as long as I don't have safety or moral issues I let it go). I dont' like his music, but as long as I dont' object to the lyrics I let him be. Kids are people and as they grow up they will not always agree with us on everything. I have very different religious ideas from my mom, and someday, Warren might choose a path totally different from what I would like. But he is my son, and my job is to love him no matter what, even when I don't like what he does or agree with him. He is still my child. I don't have to like or accept everything, but I will never cut him off, or turn him away. No matter what he is always my son.
I will allow my children to face the consequences of their own actions and not constantly protect them, as I know I will want to do.
The hardest and the best thing one can do for a child is to let them learn some things the hard way. As much as our instinct is to bail them out, that only teaches them to come to us everytime they are in trouble. I believe when a child makes a decision they should face the consquences. If they forget thier lunch, let them go hungry they won't die, and they will be much more likely to remember it the next day. If they make a mess, they should clean it up, if they don't do a chore, they loose a privledge. Too many kids are so spoiled they think the world revolves around them, and they can do no wrong, and should never have to face reality. They are in for one hella shock when mommy and daddy are no longer thier to fix things. Better to learn hard lessons at a young age, with mom and dad there, and be ready to cope when they are older.
I will feel successful when I am no longer needed as a parent.
I think I will be sad, but at the same time cheering "free at last, Great God almighty I am free at last". I will miss Warren , but it will be great to once again come and go as I want and not have to worry about somebody else, needing care, can he come with is it appropriate, no I cant go its a school night. With any luck he will be successful and I can bask knowing I did a good job. (yeah right... !!)


Prequels ~ Sequels

Daily Dumbass: People who think stop signs are only suggestions
Thankful For: I was able to get Warren new shoes, his old ones have more holes than a sponge..
Music of the mind: : stupid annoy Hillary Fluff Video now commercial..

~*~Have you read these~*~

~ Ode to a child who is no more ~
~ She's baaack ~
~ testing ~
~ Facebook me ~
~ Bleech ~

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In every neighborhood there is at least one house that all the neighbors gossip about. This is a diary from the woman who lives in that house. I am a single mother in her mid thirties. I live in North Dakota with my son, Warren.

I tend to be a bit of a slob, and am the opposite of a girly-girl. I am geek girl, who loves Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Buffy, Angel, action movies, science fiction, action adventure, Dr. Who, and so on and so on.

I love to write and while I don't post much fiction online anymore I would love to be a writer someday. I am also overweight, bipolar and suffer from allergy induced asthma.