Do your children a few favors:

by Rod Smith

The Mercury / Tuesday

Do your young and older children a few favors*

• Get out of the way so your children can learn to forge their own paths.

• Resist the urge to speak for your children especially when others (teachers, coaches, other adults) are engaging them in conversations.

• Trust life itself to teach valuable lessons. You can probably reflect on your life and acknowledge that some of the most valuable lessons you have ever learned you learned on you own. You might agree that the best attempts of your parents to teach you these same lessons probably failed.

• You may have noticed parents who seem to be afraid of and even intimidated by their children. Combat this. It’s unhelpful and unnecessary in every direction. You are the parent your son or daughter needs. Backing off in fear or in hoping to remain popular (or for whatever odd reason) helps no one.

• Learn to hold your tongue. Not everything you think or feel has to be said. This is especially necessary when you are stressed by matters unrelated to your children.

• Speak your mind but give yourself room to think before you do. Blurt out good news but if you are sitting on a difficult or tough message allow yourself time (usually 24 hours) to offer your approach time to mellow.

• Show up for events, sports, shows, and presentations. Your support will be appreciated especially if you are well behaved. You may have noticed that some parents are not.

* As always I am my first reader.

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