I still remember the nurses and staff lining the hallways of the Houston hospital as my husband and I were leaving with our two-day old daughter. Now, years later, the words they said, “Your lives will never be the same,” still come to mind. Babies don’t come with instructions, but wonderful support from family and friends helped us through those first months.
The joys of parenthood far outweigh the challenges; at least I feel that way.
Even though we made some mistakes along the way, we always tried to set a positive example for our three children and now our grandchildren.
A favorite Ann Landers column I clipped and saved from many years ago still rings true today.
The information in her column actually comes from fourth graders. That’s right; eight- or nine-year-old kids giving advice to parents on how to raise children. The honesty of the children is refreshing. Here are a few of their suggestions:
• Don’t give me everything I ask for. Sometimes, I am just testing you to see how much I can get.
• Keep promises, both good and bad. If you promise a reward, make sure you give it to me. If you promise a punishment, make sure I get that too.
• Don’t compare me with anybody else, especially if the comparison will hurt somebody’s feelings.
• Let me do as much for myself as I can. That is how I learn. If you do everything for me, I will never be able to anything for myself.
• Don’t scream at me. It makes me scream back, and I don’t want to be a screamer. Screamers sound awful.
• Don’t tell lies in front of me or ask me to tell lies to help you out. It makes me think less of you and of myself.
• When you are wrong about something, admit it. It will not hurt my opinion of you. It will make it easier for me to admit it when I am wrong.
I have several copies of an excellent parenting curriculum that I would be happy to share with interested families. The Responsive Discipline toolbox includes 49 tools that focus on prevention, guidance, and consequences. There is a small charge of $3 for the toolbox and quantities are limited. Call me today at the Great Bend office and I’ll be happy to share.
Donna Krug is the Family & Consumer Science Agent with K-State Research and Extension – Cottonwood District. Contact her at 620-793-1910 or email@example.com.