V: Never correct a child about every little thing they do that pisses you off.
There will be plenty! Life is annoying!
Turning a blind eye to most “bad” things kids do is the secret to good parenting. Bite your tongue!
Pick what matters – rudeness for instance or things that will mark your kid as a dolt like picking their nose in public – and let most other annoying things they do slide. Kids do grow out of bad habits.
Trust me! I gave up all hope about my kids repeatedly and made dire predictions. I was proved wrong!
And the only way to teach a life lessons is by doing rather than saying.
Want little barbarians? Then feed them lousy food in plastic cups on the kitchen counter while you’re too busy to eat with them or worse ignoring them and texting a friend, calling your sister or watching something on some screen.
Want civilized human beings? Make dinner, teach children to eat off china, drink from a glass, never order “child food” but only real food, have them assume that holding a fork and sitting through the meal is normal because its what you do.
Toss all those rubber-coated spoons and “sippy-cups!”
Want young adults and not “teens?” Start as you mean to go on. What lifetime do you think they’ll learn to be civilized in if civilized life never happens at home?
It’s far more important to serve your children a meal and to use the “good china” than to serve guests graciously. You can have more guests later but you’ll only get one bite at this apple.
Start early, start right. Let your grownup guests eat off plastic and get nuggets for supper! For God’s sake treat your kids in a way that introduces them to being the kind of people who can navigate the world gracefully.
(to be continued in this space tomorrow…)
To book Frank Schaeffer to speak at your college, church or group contact him at Frankschaeffer.com