***This post was originally written as a Guest Blog post for Momstown.ca.***
I’ve had lots of talks with lots of girlfriends. I’ve had lots of talks with lots of girlfriends who are moms. They are moms and daughters and sisters and friends. This is what I’ve learned:
- Don’t expect your kids to be perfect. Perfection is an unattainable and dangerous myth that breeds over-worked, over-stressed, unhappy adults.
- Pressure is the ratio of force to the area over which that force is distributed. Children are small. Keep the pressure small. High pressure awaits them in adulthood.
- Don’t make your daughters seek approval, or they will seek it in men. Don’t make your sons seek approval, or they will seek it in women. Give praise freely and without condition.
- Keeping up appearances is not healthy for anyone. Show your true self and allow your children to do the same. Be proud of what you are and of what you aren’t.
- “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” Remember Thumper the rabbit? Think about that the next time you tell your child to colour inside the lines. There is a difference between criticism and suggestion. Remember what really matters.
I’ve got two young children. I’ve got one chance. I wanna do this right.