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Humble Pie: Making Sense Of Parenting

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

While it was somewhat “evident” and even brought up by my mother in law (ironically about certain members of her own family), I recently came across the term “The Lost Generation” for those 24 and younger.

While these young adults (yes, if you’re 25 and older, you have apparently earned the title of official full-fledged adult) certainly are technologically savvy, they seem, according to many, to not really have a full and adequate grasp of responsibility and reality. And, while its terribly unfair to generalize, after all every generation had less than flattering statements said about IT, those who coined the term suggest that WE (their parents, and perhaps older siblings) are to blame, as we overprotected and over-coddled them.

Some even suggest that this, the new entrants into the workforce, often newlyweds and perhaps even first time parents are less prepared for their roles than we or even our grandparents were.

In fact, some point out that in past generations a woman of 18 was well ready to wed a man of about 20 and both were “trained” in the “art” of matrimony and family life. Even the role models of yesteryear are noted for having things under greater “control”. The women were depicted as fastidiously organized and happy homemakers while the men new seemed ready to handle most every situation with confidence and aplomb, including the challenges of fatherhood.

Still, many “modern” men, though they marvel at the miracle of parenthood, are quite clear on their confusion in taking on the huge, small responsibility. But, the “phenomenon” may not necessarily be something new. Children have a unique way of making all of us take a closer look at ourselves, our abilities, and our “omniscience”.

But, according to parenting experts, though none of us is “perfect” there is certain “protocol” to help make parenting “easier”

Don’t Generalize or Categorize: Especially if you have more than one child. In fact experts suggest avoiding comparisons at all costs, since that only confuses you and complicated dealing with the kids. Comparing and labeling kids can play on how they see and perceive themselves and on their sense of personal confidence and security. Plus, it obstructs a clear view for you to see each child clearly so you know how to speak to and deal with each.

“Ditch The Day-planner”: When you have kids, schedules often become a thing of the “fondly-remembered” past. Children need more time to get ready than we do and frequently “other” things come up, often slowing YOU down. Though there’s no reason your life should be in tumult or your home in complete chaos, accepting that the regimented routine your once adhered to WILL be obsolete will help you weather potential storms.

Never come to any conclusions: Passing certain judgments may be as detrimental as labeling your child. However, if you get a certain sense about the type of child he or she is, your may just be right. The key here is to keep questioning your assessment and to avoid temptation to “tease” or steer him/her in any particular direction, limiting his/her growth or development. For instance, you may presume that your meticulously minded child would excel in certain arenas, but that may stifle his/her creative side. Your best bet is allowing him or her to decide.

Cut Them Some Slack: We are not a generation that is willing to wait for anything. In fact, with two parents now in the working world, we are use to things happened according to schedule, without much patience for allowing them to naturally unfold. But when it comes to kids, tough love and demands only gets you so far, but inevitable kids will need time to “come around”. According to experts, sometimes the best you can do is live and lead by example, then just love them and wait.

Use Your Imagination: Sure mom and dad’s tactics ensured you turned out okay. And, there’s nothing that say’s you can’t or shouldn’t repeat what works and discard what doesn’t. On the other hand, note experts, you need to remember that YOUR children are from two completely different sets of genes and are not YOU (or your mate). With that said, they will require their own parenting tactics and what mom and dad used on you may be “useless” with them. Don’t give up. Instead embrace the challenge and, in a sense, do what your parents did, come up with new rules that work for you and your family and see how it goes.

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > Humble Pie: Making Sense Of Parenting

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