When I hear somebody talk about a horse or cow being stupid; I figure it’s a sure sign that the animal has somehow outfoxed them.
Our kids often out fox us, sometimes on purpose, sometimes not. A disobediant child can make you feel like a class room dunce. Moreover, parenting oddurs in field of blame and shame. Add to that the pundits happy to blame you for all that is wrong with you child and even the smartest parents can feel less than bright.
Here is a business article that offered advice for dealing with feeling stupid. I learn a lot about parenting from those teaching business management. The One Minute Manager remains one of my favorite parenting advice books.
This article sparked my thoughts, but it isn’t mandatory reading. I have made my own list of 10 things parents can do to keep from looking stupid. So skipping the article is okay.
If you read the article, congratulations. If you had to read some of the items several times, you aren’t stupid; the author was clear for his audience possibly, but not for parents. I had to go back and re-read several times. If you didn’t read it, do read my tips.
WHAT IS A PARENT TO DO?
1. Know your child, his or her temperament and what it is reasonable to expect in terms of behavior for his or her age and stage.
2. Think ahead in two ways. Plan for success and when it doesn’t come, hold to the long point of view. Very few children enter high school wearing diapers.
3. Don’t fake. Kids always know.
4. Practice saying “I don’t know.” If important, add, “I will find out.”
5. Remember how much has been accomplished to date. A new baby–a major accomplishment. Then the older your child, the greater his progress, the more you have accomplished, the more you can build on.
6. Have a Chinese menu of alternatives to draw on. The more choice you can offer anyone, particularly choices that you will be happy they make, the more you will be the smart one.
7. Ask, do not assume. In my CARE response, Confront, Ally, Review, End–Review is based on asking the child for his assumptions about what is going on. Amazing what you can learn when you remember this step.
8. Don’t say “Always” or “Never” as in “You always” or “You never.” These are always wrong and never should be directed at a child.
9. With teens particularly, the phrases, “I’m shocked” or “I expected more of you” are very powerful correctives when said by a caring parent.
10 Put some things in writing. Rules and consequences for one. “I care” notes for another. Have you ever written a child a thank you note? A wonderful thing to do every so often.
As one un-known wise person said, “Everyone has a right to be stupid; some people just abuse the privilege.” I try not to and I am sure you try the same.
AS ALWAYS, PRACTICE KINDNESS
Be kind to me, like this post or share it. You will be helping me stay strong and maybe some others as well. You will also be practicing one of the 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Exercises. Click here to view all Daily Emotional Fitness Exercises.
If regular practice of the 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Exercises does not improve the quality of your life, more might be needed. That is the time to think about therapy.
Good luck, life is a struggle, caring for children harder than you expect AND despite the struggle, life as a parent is also wonderful.
Katherine [Image Source]