The six year old and I stood ready with our cameras, but I suddenly worried. Maybe pointing my camera instead of just being in the moment was poor modeling. As the sun rose, the worry passed, but it reminded me of the top five parenting myths which haunt even seasoned parents like myself.
1. Tabula Rasa Myth
The idea that a child’s mind is a blank slate for adults to mold is complete crap. No really. In spite of your best efforts, your children may still turn out to be assholes.
Kids have their own DNA and, from toddlers to teen, still exercise choice. This truth is terrifying to most parents and hastens their control ego to control their child.
2. Failure Damages Self-Esteem Myth
The best thing you can do is to let your kids fail, particularly while they are small. Why? Because the consequences of failing when they are adults is far more catastrophic. Millennials, hello?!
3. If not a Friend, you are Foe Myth
Stop convincing yourself that you are either friend or foe. You are a parent period. Your child will not be damaged if you don’t go to every hockey game or constantly give them high fives. Let them find satisfaction internally.
4. Kids Learn What they Live Myth
Make your bed every day for 18 years and then drink once from the juice carton. You already know which one your child will learn. Then there’s the shocking realization that your child spends more time asleep, or with peers, than with you. Surprisingly, most parents will try to make that time up by something called positive parental modeling.
5. Parents have to Model for their Children Myth
When dinner’s not ready for your ravenous toddler or if you forget to get bus tickets for your hormonal teen, will said child be aware of the day’s positive parental modeling. Nope.
The difference between being the boss [you] and being bossy [them]
I will concede that your kids are watching you. Actually, they are watching all adult’s reactions, be it parents, teachers or coaches, to their behaviour. They are eager to learn the difference between being bossy and being the boss. They may be downright nasty about you being the boss, but they will also be relieved.
The horrible truth, though, is that parents go to staggering lengths to make their children like them. This happens particularly when we feel we are being judged by our peers or spouses. Luckily there is an answer.
Love them, don’t like them and for heaven’s sake if you are going to model, model self-care. When you are finally with your child in that rare moment of fully fed, homework done and nowhere else to be ~ watch the sun rise with or without cameras.