Welcome to Educated, Common Sense Parenting! This is my parenting education/commentary blog. Start here and read About This Blog.

I believe too many parents today have let their children rule their households. Their children dictate their daily lives, demand every ounce of their attention and do not show any respect for their parents. This needs to change. The only way to do this is if parents start letting good old common sense start dictating their parenting practices and stop letting their children run the show. You're the parent. Act like one.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Let the Parenting Begin

Brookey is off to Kindergarten tomorrow. It might sound strange, but I feel like this is my last day of "easy" parenting with Miss Brooke. I know, there were the middle of the night feedings, sleepless nights, reflux/vomiting, potty training and everything in between and I'm calling all that EASY??! Well, yes. To me, that is the easy part of parenting. Feeding a baby, cleaning up puke and giving out M&M's to go pee in the potty takes very little brains whatsoever. I'm not saying all of that is not important--it is! And it's extremely hard work! It's labor intensive and physically exhausting. Actually, I am getting sleepy thinking about it...But as I sit here and reflect on those things as distant memories, I can't help to feel like tonight is my rite of passage--tonight I am truly entering parenthood. The part of parenting that takes more than sustaining your kid's basic needs so they can see another day. More than feeding, clothing and putting a roof over their head. As our kids enter the world of school, I feel like a teeny bit of childhood ends and a whole new, exciting world of friendships, social groups, test-taking and homework now begins.

We, as Educated, Common Sense parents always want what is best for our child. We might find ourselves agonizing over decisions like which school to send our kids to, public vs. private, which teachers they'll have or if so-and-so the bratty kid is in their class. Our "helicopter parent" generation wants everything to be just "so" for our kids. But as always, we have to put everything into perspective. As heartbreaking as it is, here are some things that we all need to realize in the midst of our agonizing over our kids and their school success:

- They will fail.
- They will have their hearts broken.
- They will have an awful teacher (or two, or five)
- Someone will dislike them.
- They will be wronged.
- They won't always be treated fairly.
- They will only learn about 25% of what they need to know for life in school. Most of the rest is up to you...and them :)

Might sound pretty pretty depressing at first but don't forget, all of these things happened to us, and unfortunately, will happen to our kids as well. We cannot protect them from everything. There is no perfect school. There are no perfect teachers. There are no perfect kids. There are no perfect parents. These imperfections are things we have to live with and they are all learning experiences. Someone said it more eloquently than I will, but the saying goes something like, "It's not the situation that matters, but rather how you handle the situation that really builds character."

We cannot guarantee our kids will be happy every moment. We can't guarantee they'll have Ms. Smith the seemingly perfect 1st grade teacher. We can't guarantee everyone will like them. We can't ensure that mean kids won't say hurtful things. But what we can do is attempt to teach our children how to handle these situations. We can teach them right from wrong, instill in them a desire to succeed, how to treat others, how to handle adversity, and overall, what Gary Ezzo would say, "Teach them how to be a child who is a joy to be around."

How do we do that?? I have a few ideas on things but really, this is all just the beginning for me--actually raising and child and not just sustaining their basic needs. Hmmmm...those middle of the night feedings aren't sounding half bad now.

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