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Be Careful What You Wish For, You Just Might Get It!

Parenting advice on teaching children to value themselves but others, too.  We all want to raise healthy, happy children.  That also means well-balanced.  Teach children the importance of doing for others as well as themselves.

As we raise our children, we live with a dream. Our first dream is that our children will stay young forever. But quickly the reality of that dream gets flushed. Therefore, we adjust our dream to something that, if we do our jobs as parents, we have a shot and a prayer of coming true. We dream that the day will come where our children will be grown, responsible, loving adults. We dream they will be an ever present part of our lives. We dream they will return home with their children in tow and our grandparenting skills are perfected. Most importantly, we retain the base of the family extension. We are still the center in our family!

This dream is omnipresent while our children are young and impressionable. THEN, the teenage years hit! We spent enormous amounts of time when our children were young teaching verbal and self-thinking skills and valuing their opinions. Well, they have learned the lesson well. They have learned how to manipulate us, challenge our every word and require that we agree with them or the fight will never end. Some battles we continue despite their persistence while others we accept the loss. We look back and wonder where we went wrong. That usually isn’t hard to find though because most of us readily admit we made mistakes raising our kids and live with the “should’ve, could’ve, would’ves.”

But, what happened to our dream? Will it become reality or did we just simply wake up? Maybe a little of both, unfortunately. However, if we start young and correct problems or attitudes before they become a permanent part of the children’s personality, we have a far better chance of reaching our dream.

Too many children today feel absolute and total entitlement. We raise them to feel that they are the most important person in the world and somehow we are shocked when they start to display that attitude. We want them to feel important, we want them to feel loved but do we sometimes instill that feeling to the extreme? The problem in finding that answer is when we do, it may be too late.

When our children reach the tender years of teenager and early adulthood, the extremes come out and shine. If we have overdone the self-importance of their existence, it will become apparent when the damage is already done.

Somewhere there is a fine balance of “you are very important, but so is everyone else.” Sad to say that there is no defined set of instructions as to how to inspire self-esteem without creating narcissism. Go back to the days when our parents didn’t allow us to interrupt, or when visiting a family member was an exciting outing, or when we actually had to earn a special treat. Remember when our parents went out to dinner on Saturday nights, without us? I do. We were allowed to pick out a special meal to eat (usually a T.V. dinner, yum yum) while they were gone and were allowed to stay up a LITTLE past our bedtimes. We were treated special but certainly not above our parents. We learned to respect their authority and appreciate their special allowances that were for our benefit.

At the end of the day, we want our children to love and respect us. To achieve that goalFeature Articles, we must make sure we are the parents at all times.

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