Bookworm - posted on 10/15/2012 ( no moms have responded yet )
I've long been a conservative blogger, with a strong interest in education and parenting. That interested finally came together for me in a short Kindle ebook I just published called "Easy Ways To Teach Kids Hard Things : The fun way to teach your children important life principles," available at Amazon:
My little book explains what I’ve figured out over the years as I’ve worked to cultivate my children’s personalities, their values, and their practical approach to life. It won’t tell you how many minutes a time-out should last or what type of punishment you should give a child who hits. Instead, it will share a life philosophy that I’ve applied to my parenting, one that has resulted in my having children who respect me and who frequently tell me that their friends think I’m the coolest parent around.
Parenting in the twenty-first century, while less physically debilitating than ever before, is still hard work. Popular culture and myriad advice books tell us that we’re no longer responsible just for feeding and sheltering our children or for teaching them the basic principles and rules that enable them to function as decent adults. Instead, we’re responsible for turning our children into adults who are practically perfect in every way. To that end, we have to be endlessly hands-on; relentlessly consistent; perfectly behaved ourselves (we are, after all, role models); and completely in sync with modern educational techniques.
In theory, these are all excellent ideas. In practice, they are exhausting, demoralizing and, sometimes, as is true for so many things when the perfect becomes the enemy of the good, counterproductive. Parents who are too hands-on deprive their children of opportunities to make their own decisions or stand up for themselves; and parents who believe they are actually capable of being perfect are either delusional or heading for a nervous breakdown.
After struggling for too many years to be the perfect parent, I gave up and settled for being a pretty darn good parent. My philosophy is that, whether I am sharing my values with my children, helping them with their school work, or generally giving them tips about navigating their way through the world, if I hew to a few basic principles, rather than following dozens, or even hundreds, of modern parenting rules, parenting is less work and more fun. Happily, once I stopped trying so hard to control every aspect of my children’s lives, and started focusing more attention on overarching principles, not only did parenting get easier, my children also became nicer people.
With my approach, you get to ignore your children occasionally, talk a blue streak about the things that matter to you, and dazzle the children with your brilliance. While your children will not instantly become rocket scientists or even the best-behaved kids in your community, they will listen to and like you more because you’re interesting and helpful. They will also be more self-sufficient and, with luck, have a strong moral compass and analytical abilities that enable them to deal with many of the difficult situations life places in their paths.