By Rosalind Wiseman, Parenting Consultant
Just like adults, children often show different sides of themselves at school, home, and
with their friends. Another parent, teacher, or child could have a valuable perspective on your son/daughter that might never occur to you.
Sports are not automatically "male territory," and there's no reason a bake sale should be regarded as "women's work." Let your children see you stepping up and outside your comfort zone every once in a while.
Class, religion, race, and economic status all affect the way we view the world around us. Remember that you are not the only one who works, cleans the house, feeds the kids, and still manages to survive Perfect Parent World. Empathy is crucial to being a better communicator.
In fact, you might be teaching him or her an essential lesson about integrity and values by not stepping in.
No discussion will be productive if you walk into it thinking you know better than they do because you are the parent.
It's important to stick to your core principles on parenting even if that means going against the popular wave every now and then. Saying no to a cell phone will not scar your child for life.
You do a disservice to your children if you tell yourself "these parents are too difficult to deal with" or "I don't fit in" to avoid taking part in key school functions. You also don't have to commit your entire life in order to make a meaningful contribution. Participating in one volunteer activity a semester is great.
Caving into parental peer pressure when you don't believe your peers are right or choosing to stay out of a conflict because you don't want to deal with it often permits bullying parents to push their agenda through - and your child is the one who'll have to live with that.
This might seem obvious, but people are prone to see only their side of an issue, especially when it comes to their kids. A willingness to talk through all aspects of a problem, apologize (when necessary), and compromise gives children a model for how to handle their own challenges.
Forget trying to become the perfect parent and be aware of the times when you hold other parents to this impossible standard. Parental judgment stops parents from being able to work together.
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