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The Trick To Parenting

Those of you who are parents of any kind, like me, have surely experienced this enigma of communicating with your child; you push one letter, but another shows up! As parents, we have to be careful and intentional with everything we do, but there’s one thing in particular that I’ve learned. (Most experienced parents probably already know this, but bear with me). When we see our children acting like children to the point where smoke is streaming out of our ears like a Looney Toons character, we will ask them to stop behaving like a child and more like an adult. But that doesn’t help them because after all, they are children. The only thing they really know about acting like an adult is from the actions they see us doing, which is mostly us telling them what to do based on what we want. We tell them “yes/no, I love you, go brush your teeth” or when it’s time to go to bed. Therefore, they basically associate adulthood with telling people what to do.

That’s the paradox of raising children. If you tell them to act more adult, they might just do exactly that. They’ll start thinking for themselves and doing the things that they want to do when they want to do them, which is the opposite of what you want. The next time your child gets out of hand don’t tell them to start acting more like us, especially if they are very young. Instead, try distracting them with something else to do so that they stop acting out by putting that energy into something else.

One last thought about parenting: Prior to the pandemic, I saw this NBC news segment one night about how mothers would make $200,000 a year if they were paid a salary for motherhood, and I’m sure it would be even more these days. In a perfect world, motherhood would be a paid occupation since it takes up even more time than most paid jobs. Don’t forget how important the job of being a parent is, and always put in the time and effort it deserves.

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