Thursday, February 07, 2008

Good advice for parents

I don't always agree with the views of Psychology Today but they have a couple of small articles with advice for parents. Here's the first one on over-parenting:

We all want the best for our children, but sometimes it's better to give them a little space. Here's how to prevent yourself from overparenting.

• Never invest more in an outcome than your child does.
• Allow children of all ages time for free play. It's a natural way to learn regulation, social skills and cognitive skills.
• Be reasonable about what is dangerous and what is not.
Some risk-taking is healthy.
• Don't overreact to every bad grade or negative encounter your child has. Sometimes discomfort is the appropriate
response to a situation—and a stimulus to self-improvement.
• Don't be too willing to slap a disease label on your child at the first sign of a problem; instead, spend some time
helping your child learn how to deal with the problem.
• Peers are important, but young people also need to spend time socializing with adults in order to know how to be adults.
• Modify your expectations about child-raising in light of your child's temperament; the same actions don't work
with everyone.
• Recognize that there are many paths to success. Allow your children latitude—even to take a year off before starting college.
• Don't manipulate the academic system on behalf of your child; it makes kids guilty and doubtful of their own ability.
• Remember that the goal of child-rearing is to raise an independent adult. Encourage your children to think for themselves,
to disagree (respectfully) with authority, even to incur the critical gaze of their peers.

I only have a small issue with the very first bullet. As a parent I think I recognize when I need to put in extra time for the sake of my daughter and for the future. But, I do it transparently. The worst situation would be to expect more and not get it . . . and have her realize I expected more. That would be bad.

Great advice, though.

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