There was a time in your schooling that, your aim was to get an A on the quiz, test, class, semester, etc. For some of us, we realized that we could be happy with B’s, or realized that C’s were good enough. There are idealized versions of parenting in the media, that we often wish (or our kids wish) we could emulate, whether it’s trying to live up to the Clair Huxtable, Marge Simpson, Lorelai Gilmore, Carol Brady, or simply trying to be a better parent than your own. The pressures of parenting, and the need to strive for an A in it has never been greater.
There is no shortage of parenting books that offer many tips, ideas, and guidelines to improve your relationship with your child, help them excel at school, promote a more peaceful dinner experience, or to be an A+ parent. These books and its content are awesome, but here’s what I believe to be the most fundamental things parents and families should strive for, and all you have to do is shoot for C’s. Read the rest of this entry »
. . .of the holiday season. Now that Halloween has come and gone, including this weekend we are 7 weekends away from Christmas/Holiday season.
The holidays are a wonderful time, a season of thanks, and good cheer. It is also a festive time to get together with friends, office holiday parties, holiday banquets/fundraisers, and concerts. There’s festive light shows, plays/concerts/ballets to attend, pictures to take, cards to create, gift lists, baking, decorating, planning, traveling, etc.
The holiday season seems to start sooner every year, and various personal and family events to attend only grow with young children.
So while we’re still 7 weeks away, I hope that there can be an intentional time to relax, take in the fall season, spend time with your immediate family without the pressures of everyone else around, and just savor a free weekend before it gets crammed with various commitments.
At a recent presentation by psychologist and primary care physician, Dr. Leonard Sax, Sax reminded parents that nothing has changed. That is, Sax said their job in parenting is no different than it was 20 yrs ago, before the internet, cellphones, and status updates. While technology has impacted society, the role of families and parents is still to provide a loving, caring, and nurturing home that guides a child towards adulthood.
Dr. Sax carefully reinforced the authority of parents, which he suggested was something parents have been giving up or losing for the last 20 years. In my work with families I believe this trend is two-fold: there are a lot more fears that parents internalize, and families are simply busier. There are many parents that feel restrictions in setting limits or disciplining their child due to fears that their actions will be discussed and may trigger an adult to file a report with child protective services. It has also been my experience that parents choose not to be strict to avoid alienating their children, or causing harm to the parent child relationship. Perhaps many parents grew up in households where their parent was strict or overbearing with rules and expectations, and now as parents they are trying to over correct for this experience.
Living in the 21st century, in a global economy, and in a sophisticated tech culture, technology has made many things easier, but it has also allowed us to cram a lot more things into a given day at work, school, or home. All the benefits of technology has not led to more leisure and free time to relax in a blissful state of efficiency and productivity. The expectations and fears of students have also increased with greater emphasis on standardized test scores, the need to appeal to admissions committees with one’s wide range of extracurricular activities, not to mention the grooming of athletic champions who will merit impressive scholarships. Read the rest of this entry »