A Code for Parents in Raising Children

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, February 21, 2010 0 comments

Dear Ann: Rev. C. Glalea was assigned to the Guelph Correctional Center for summer work. While there, he developed an excellent rapport with many young lawbreakers. He asked the boys for clues as to why they had ended up into that institution. He then asked them to draw up a code for parents, zeroing in on specific areas where they had failed.
  1. Keep cool. Don’t fly off the handle. Just keep the lid on when things go wrong. Kids need to see how much better things turn out when people keep their tempers under control.
  2. Don’t get strung out from too much booze or too many pills. When we see our parents reaching for those crutches, we get the idea that nobody goes out there alone, and it’s perfectly OK to reach for a bottle or a capsule when things get heavy. Remember, children are great imitators. We lose respect for parents who tell us to behave one way, while they behave another.
  3. Bug us a little. Be strict. Show us who’s boss. We need to know that we’ve got some strong supports. When you cave in, we get scared.
  4. Don’t blow your class. Stay on that pedestal. Don’t try to dress, dance or talk like your kids. You embarrass us and you look ridiculous.
  5. Light a candle. Show us the way. Tell us that God is not dead, or sleeping, or on vacation. We need to believe in something bigger or stronger than ourselves.
  6. Scare the heck out of us. If you catch us lying, stealing or being cruel, get tough. Let us know why what we did was wrong. Impress on us the importance of not repeating such behavior.
  7. When we need punishment, dish it out. But let us know that you still love us, even though we have let you down. It will make us think twice before we make that same move again.
  8. Call our bluff. Make it clear you mean what you say. Don’t compromise. And don’t be intimidated with our threats to drop out of school or leave home. Stand up to us and we’ll respect you. Kids don’t want everything they ask for.
  9. Be honest. Tell us the truth no matter what. And be straight arrow about everything. We can take it. Lukewarm answers make us uneasy. We can smell uncertainty a mile away.
  10. Praise us when we deserve it. If you give us kids a few compliments once in a while, we will be able to accept criticism a lot easier. The bottom line is, we want you to tell it like it is.

- A reader who loves kids

From Ann Landers’ column