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arts / rec.arts.books / On parenting

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o On parentingIlya Shambat

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On parenting

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Subject: On parenting
From: ibsham...@gmail.com (Ilya Shambat)
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 by: Ilya Shambat - Wed, 1 Nov 2023 00:03 UTC

I am writing now on a subject that I know a fair deal about. It is about how to be a good parent. My daughter and I have a wonderful relationship, and I want to share some insights as to how such can be achieved.

The first ingredient of good parenting is love. If you don’t love your child you might as well give her up for adoption, as you have no chance of being a good parent. Love provides nurturing soil for the raising of life, and all children deserve to be raised with love.

Another essential is self-control. Children will do things that will anger you and annoy you. How you react to that says everything about what you are as a person. Character means controlling what you do with your fists and your mouth. Remain in control at all times and refrain from abusive behavior..

Another is treating the child as an intelligent form of life. When children do wrong things many parents punish them or attack them. In many cases that approach is wrong. What you really need to do is explain to the child why what she is doing is wrong. In most cases the children will understand and react accordingly.

The same approach is necessary in motivating the child. Many parents try to get the children to behave by telling them that they will be losers or criminals if they don’t. That approach is also mistaken. It gets the parent being seen as a bully. Instead the matter needs to be put into the framework of good will. Tell the child that you want her to have a good life, and that this means staying in school, learning how to deal with people, following the law and avoiding teenage pregnancy.

Another ingredient of successful parenting is responsibility. If you have brought life into the world, you are responsible for it. Many people become parents when they aren’t willing to be responsible, and that hurts the children and the society.

Still another ingredient is commitment. Your child is the most important thing in your life, and the child needs to know that. Commitment to the child is lifelong. It doesn’t end when the child turns 18. It is valid to encourage the children toward independence; it is not valid to not care what happens to them after that.

Another is compassion. Children will have their concerns and they will have their struggles. Your job is to be there for them. It is to be their mentor and their best friend. It is to use your experience and intelligence to help them through whatever concerns and whatever struggles they may have.

Another is tolerance and open-mindedness. There are going to be many situations in which the child is not like the parents, and the parents need to accept that. There are some – especially in Asia – who want children to do what their parents did; and that is wrong. Where would we be if Isaac Newton, Thomas Jefferson or Steven Jobs did what their parents did? Children are not their parents, and in many cases these differences are valid. Children should not be made to do what their parents did. They need to be able to figure out what they themselves stand to be good at, and thus be encouraged into directions that reflect their talents rather than the choices of their parents. I have seen intolerance practiced on both the Right and the Left, and in both cases it is wrong. People should be free to contribute whatever they stand to contribute, whether or not it accords with the way in which the parents have themselves chosen to live.

Still another is having faith in the child and building confidence and strength. Whatever the path the child chooses to take, it is inevitable that she will be dealing with all sorts of bad people. The child needs to know how to take care of herself. Some children are naturally more sensitive; others less so. In either case strength is something that can be built; and I, having been the shortest and weakest kid in class, have built strength by doing tons of exercise and demanding of myself a high standard of conduct.

Another is ethics. While ethics can be practiced in oppressive, cruel and hypocritical ways, that is in no way the only possible outcome. It is possible to conduct yourself in an ethical way without doing any of the above. This coincides with what I’ve written before about treating the child as an intelligent form of life. Teach the child good values and explain the reasons for them, while taking good care to avoid cruelty and hypocrisy. That way the value will not be associated with things that are wrong, and the value itself will be preserved.

Still another is respect. While some people think that there is nothing to respect about children, in many cases that is not true. My daughter has shown herself to have good judgment, and she is conscientious and responsible. Her first social interaction at age 1 was coming up to another little girl and giving her a hug. She has many good qualities that I don’t have, and I respect her.

Many people see wrongdoing done in families and become against family as such. I used to be one of these people, then I had a family of my own and realized how foolish that stance was. Like anything human, family can be done right and it can be done wrong. What I have done as a parent has worked. I suggest these insights to other people.


arts / rec.arts.books / On parenting

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