Parent Guidelines

I ran across an old ‘Dear Abbey’ article that I had cut out years ago–before I had kids of my own. As I reread the ten pieces of advice, I realized they still apply to today’s kids the same as they did to me growing up.
In my opinion, a few of the more important ones are as follows:
1. Nag us a little. Be strict. Show us that we have strong support but that you are boss.
2. Stay calm. Never react in anger.
3. Let the punishment fit the deed. Scare us when you catch us doing wrong but explain WHY. Praise us when we do good but not overly so.
4. Don’t compromise. Call our bluff.
5. Be honest in all your dealings with us—we can take it. Act like parents and not best friends.
6. Most importantly, feed our belief in something bigger and stronger than ourselves—whether God, Buddha, Allah, or Jehovah.
As a mother, I try to follow these simple guidelines. I won’t kid you, it’s hard. My sixteen-year-old pushes every button I have, and the ten-year-old is close on his heels.
None of that matters, though, because I want my boys to grow up to be better than me. So, I try harder and enjoy what time I have left as the mother of young children and anticipate being the mother of well-mannered, upstanding adults.

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