The concept of parenting has gone through more changes than Hillary's Benghazi explanations. From ancient times until now, there still isn't one set of standards for each child.
Parents were children, too. Good or bad, they were brought up by the same imperfect people we all are. After my upbringing, the raising of my own brood and watching my grandchildren's rearing (a big improvement over my parents and myself), I've concluded that not enough time is spent educating future parents on some basic principles.
One thing is for sure. Those of us who write about parenting and those who can peruse it are advantaged to have parents who, whatever their circumstances, carried the birthsinstead of the alternative.
According to Laurence Steinberg PhD, here are 10 tenets to follow:
• What you do matters--Children look at you as many look upon G-d. They learn almost everything they'll base their lives on from you. Behave accordingly.
• You cannot be too lovingFreely give hugs and kisses along with necessary discipline and as much time with them as you can spare.
• Be involved in your child's life--from school to meals to conversations.
• Adapt your parenting to fit your childeach one is like a snowflake.
• Establish rules and set limits.
• Help foster your child's independence--Start early on helping your child learn how to solve his own problems.
• Be Consistent--yet adaptable to changing situations.
• Avoid harsh discipline
• Explain your rules and set limits-but put a limit to your explanations.
• Treat your child with respect--showing him to be a worthy human being.
The most important inheritance you can leave your children is the example you leave in life
My son Aaron is the best father I've ever seen, much better than me. He's a natural. My grandkids are functioning at a high level in school, sports and personal relations. He revealed a tip on his expertise with his six children in a recent article published in the Huffington Post.
When you come to the inevitable standoff of "Try harder!" followed by the most used line by children in history: "I'm doing my best ," break this logjam with, "Try Different." Bad attitudes dissipate like a snowman in 100 degree sunshine. You can read his article here:
His wife Brenna is an excellent mom. Here's hoping that my grandchildren carry on the tradition.
Become a beacon of light for those seeking a ray of hope
Mel and Millie Weinbaum, my parents grew up on the West side of Chicago. They were both children of Russian-Jewish immigrants. My paternal grandfather died in 1929, leaving my father and uncle to be brought up in the back of my grandmother's school supply/candy store on Austin Ave. While my mother graduated high school, my father did not.
My upbringing was mixed between an attentive father and mostly agitated mother. They both gave me a lot of negative feedback. It cost me a lot of years of feeling unworthy and negative about my intellect. Looking back, it was not a happy place.
On the other hand, it spurred me to revolteven running away as a four-year-old.
My father spent a lot of time supporting my participation in sports, but remained negative toward my low grades in school. He didn't know how to help me other than to berate and insult. My mother was pretty much negative most of the time about everything I did. I made my amends with them in adulthood and was financially able to help them both in the latter part of their lives.
A street corner makes a poor father
In my opinion, the biggest opportunity is in teaching children, (future moms and dads) about good parenting before they have babies. Sometimes bad examples from home can be contrasted by the idea that if they apply what they learned in school they can improve on what their parents are doing now.
Parenting needs to be established as a prime subject in school. What good is an education if your examples in life are gangsters? After all, childhood is a terrible thing to throw away.