ben goldfarb 88.
(photo credit: )
Although many kids feel they are raising their parents, we have the ominous task of raising the next generation of hard working, moral, and table-mannered citizens.
Parenting is both the most difficult and the most rewarding profession on earth. It is riddled with a mixture of joy, sadness, and the constant worry that one of our children will end up being a game show host.
Here are the 7.3 secrets that will make raising kids easier, more effective, and relatively guilt-free.
Our children are going to learn by our example. If we want them to be generous, then we have to give them a generous example to follow. If we lead a healthy lifestyle, they will emulate us. Keep in mind that they will probably copy our negative character traits as well.
Attempting to control our kids will be as effective as trying to drive a car while locked in the trunk. Instead of seeing ourselves as drill sergeants, we should picture ourselves as flight instructors, gently sharing our wisdom with our kids from the co-pilot seat. Although we might have to act quickly at times to prevent them from heading into a tailspin, they need to be trained to fly solo as soon as possible.
All motivation boils down to self-motivation. We have to teach our kids to care enough about their lives to motivate themselves without our intervention. Despite the best of intentions, when we try to motivate our kids, our cajoling is often interpreted as tyrannical and can backfire on us.
The anticipation of a reward always works better than the threat of a punishment. This is true not only for kids, but also for adults and most circus animals.
If you are trying to act cool in front of your kids, I have one word of advice: don't. They see right through attempts to dress like them and listen to their music. They have enough bad examples in their lives without us adding to them. We have to be ourselves, as nerdy as that might appear on the surface.
We have to teach our kids to love life. If we don't generate and receive love, we run the risk of bailing our children out of jail or hiring deprogrammers to get them out of cults.
We have to live in the moment with our kids. They grow up faster than we can even imagine. Take the time to enjoy the pockets of eternity that we call parenting. If we blink one too many times, we will miss their entire childhood.
We can't treat our children like sub-humans, i.e., less than a whole person and only a decimal. Even though they are smaller than us, they are human beings and have feelings. Although they might be capable of torturing their siblings in ways that even Torquemada never considered, they are nonetheless sensitive souls. While kids are supposed to honor their parents, we have an obligation to treat them with a modicum of decency, even when others aren't looking.
These secrets are only guidelines and are not intended as a complete list. Parenting is an ongoing challenge and the rules seem to change all the time. We must enjoy our kids and do our best. And remember that there are worse things than our children hosting "Wheel of Fortune".
Ben Goldfarb was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, and is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. He moved to Israel in 1988. He is the founder and director of Paradigm Shift Communications. He has given seminars and training sessions at Israel Aircraft Industry and Philips Medical Systems. His book, "Double Feature: A Nostalgic Peek into the Future" will be published in the summer. He lives with his wife and children in Jerusalem. For more information about his coaching practice, visit the Paradigm Shift Communications website, or send an email to email@example.com
Â© Copyright 2008 by Ben Goldfarb
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>