Archive for August 13th, 2006

August 13, 2006

Rearing Children: What you laugh at and encourage in a small child might not appeal later..

by Rod Smith

Reader: My husband says I laugh at the “wrong” things my son (4) does. He says that “cute” and “charming,” when my boy wants his own way, in our young son (4) will come back to bite us. This is a point of regular, often playful, discussion between us. What do you think?

Rod’s Response: While there is so much to be enjoyed around young children, your husband has a point worthy of discussion. Cute, charming, manipulative behavior from a young child – “working the room” to get his own way – might be the source of great amusement, but the similar behavior, from the same child at thirteen, might be considered obnoxious.

Be aware of what you applaud and be careful what you allow to win you over. If charm and manipulation succeed at three, at five and at seven, you might have a tough task trying getting your teenager out of the habit.

But many children are cute and charming as a natural expression of who and what they are without any desire or intent to manipulate. While adults must be careful what they endorse, they ought also to be careful regarding what they interpret and consider manipulation in children.