Archive for June 9th, 2018

June 9, 2018

Giving children a fighting chance…..

by Rod Smith

The Mercury – Wednesday

Freely give your children a fighting chance… – note to self –

Let them off the hook of being the constant focus of your attention. Maintain a life that both includes and excludes them. Do this for the good of all. Parent your child for you child’s wellbeing, not for your own.

Babies need space. Build it into your daily parenting routine.

Children thrive with freedom. Structure hours of it. Make it as essential as healthy food.

Cramped, stifled, or smothered teens will demand opportunities for independence. If they don’t have it, they will kick against anything and anyone to get it. Tough as it may be, make freedom easy for your child so he or she never has to fight for it.

Young adults will flee, if it is necessary, to find the room to become self-sustaining and interdependent. Expect it. Welcome it. Facilitate it. Celebrate it. Do this and the inevitable journey of becoming fully adult will be as much a pleasure for you as it is for young adults.

It’s better to accommodate, facilitate, and celebrate, every person’s natural urge for space and freedom and autonomy, before it becomes a tug-of-war. Before it gets ugly. Before feelings are hurt and relationships are unnecessarily damaged.

June 9, 2018

Letter to teenagers

by Rod Smith

The Mercury / Dear Teen:

Dear Teenager:

It is really possible to become a fully functioning adult without:

• Rejecting your parents’ deeply treasured and tested values;

• Resorting to the use of alcohol, drugs, or tobacco products;

• Resisting correction from those who are more experienced than you are;

• Replying with monosyllabic grunts when you are asked about your day or to help around the house;

• Rebelling.

You probably will reach adult age and be less than functional if you:

• Resist work and are given everything you need without having to earn it;

• Spend significant amounts of time on your phone and on social media;

• Demand things from your parents that you could earn yourself;

• Develop a secret life, one that you have to hide from your parents;

• Expect your parents to step in on your behalf if you’ve not met expectations at school and are made accountable for it.

Yes – you are right. Your parents and your teachers often make mistakes and imperfect adults surround you. Nonetheless, your keys to success will emerge, not through rebellion, but through hard work, remaining connected to those who have loved you your entire life, and by being open to learning from the adults who, despite their failings, remain committed to your magnificent future.

Rod Smith