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1. They make their kids do chores.
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Because we've all been there.
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Children don't need their parents to be their friends. That's what they have peers for. A family is one place where a hierarchy is not only appropriate, it's ideal, as children need guidance, limits, and consequences as well as love, care and nurturing.
If we expect our children to not listen to us -- whether it's going to bed, eating a meal or not hitting their brother -- then I'm going to guess that, surprise, they're not going to listen to us. By the same token, if in the work world we expect our employees to keep doing the same things over and over again, in an inefficient way, that's exactly what they're going to do.
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Spending time with one child allows you to really connect with what they're doing at school, the friends they're hanging out with, and what they think about what's going on in the world as well. We also became quite adept at picking out the accents and languages of fellow travellers -- many British, German, and Eastern European dialects.
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Each child is different, gifted uniquely, and those moments of celebration, even if all you do is take them out for Dollar Menu sundaes, builds their confidence. Teaching them not to give up. And helps them to expect more of themselves. And in the end, they need to know that they are loved, accepted, and treasured, apart from their accomplishments. Simply because they are yours.
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This question is similar to asking a married woman if she gets along with her husband's last long-term girlfriend. For most women the answer may be no. But for stepmothers the situation is much more complex. Your step children's mother's presence is deeply embedded in your lives because of the influence she has on them, even though you may rarely ever interact with her yourself.
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Which memories will our children remember forever and which are they going to forget? Are they going to remember the few times I got upset when they spilled their milk or all the times I told them not to worry about it? Are they going to remember all the times I attended their school events or the few times I couldn't be there?
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This particular show had their youngest daughter, Cindy, about eight years old, dealing with a bully, Buddy Hinton, making fun of her lisp. When she complains to mom and dad, they tell her to "fix" her lisp by taking books out of the library with lots of "s's" in them, and reading them out loud. They wanted HER to fix HER own problem.
One day, I pressed play on the PVR and went about my bidness, Max on the couch pumped for some Turtle Power. A few minutes later, I heard this moaning and groaning coming from the television, with some bow-chicka-wow music in the background. What the. I ran to the TV and saw a commercial for a chat line, The Night Exchange.
North Americans are presented with a vision of heavenly perfection in Swedish daycare but in reality, education outcomes are declining, teens are anxiety-ridden and misbehaving and the quality of parenting is suffering. Let's start with the ever deteriorating psychological health of Swedish youth, which has become a major concern in Swedish public debate today.
Somewhere along the way, we've adopted some goofy misguided idea that children's psyches are inherently, staggeringly fragile, prone to devastating and irreversible damage from any number of relatively benign phenomena -- like honour rolls, sporting activities where only the winning team gets a trophy, or track and field days with actual competition (oh, the horror!).
As the nicotine leached out of his system, the emotional outbursts started. Think of the terrible twos except with a terrible two-year-old that could bench press you. He was like someone suffering from Tourettes Syndrome. He would just started swearing and freaking out for no reason. No, I don't want to do the dishes. No, I don't want to go to bed. No. No. No.
Caregivers don't need great riches to support their children. A strong, supportive adult figure can help children overcome otherwise unhealthy environments. This figure need not even be the child's parents (though of course this helps). A grandparent, and aunt, a family friend, even a dedicated teacher can have a tangible, long-lasting impact on a child's development.