My 1 Million Row Challenge

Sunday, September 13, 2009


A lot of people feel that they have to jump through a lot of hoops to make their child the perfect child, They try many different methods and buy tons of parenting books. Now I am not saying that some guidance is not necessary. But my children's first Pediatrician Dr. Fricker told me early on to pick only one book and not to be a slave to that book because each child is different. To that end I will not tell you what book that I have on my bookshelf, but will instead give my humble opinion on what you need to do as a parent to raise a happy healthy child.

The number one job of a parent is to raise happy children who find their own way to make the world a better place. No more, no less.

The first step in developing a happy child is for the child to know that they are wanted and are an important part of your life. The easiest way to get a smile from your child is to tell them that they were planned or in the case of an unexpected child is to tell them that it was part of Gd's plan and he pick the right parents for your child. With the adopted child this can be easier with the child being told that they are special because you picked them out.

The second step is to develop a sense of community for your child. Explaining that being part of that community involves rules and a certain set of standards. This does involve teaching a child that they can not have everything that they want and that no means no. This will lead to frustration on the part of the parent and child, with the child throwing the occasional temper tantrum. I let the tantrum run its course and then talked to my children when they were calmer.

Discipline comes in to the equation too. Discipline is a way to integrate a child into society, by teaching them what society excepts from them and what they can expect in return. Discipline does not mean that a belt has to be pulled out for each infraction. I found the best way to discipline my children is to walk up to them and whisper in their ear what they are doing wrong and in the case of my eldest is to ask her what corrective action she is going to take to resolve the problem. With my youngest he requires more direction so I tell him what I would like him to do.

Also it is important to realize that each child is different. Not every child will grow up to be the President of a large company or the United States, those jobs are very limited and not everyone is suited for those jobs. There are literally hundreds of different jobs that need to be done each day to make this world function and they all require different skill sets. It is your job as a parent to help your child find their own way. Some children might show artistic tendencies. While others excel in math or science. This is where you can let your child lead the way, and no it does not mean letting children abandon school. School teaches a very real set of skills that are necessary for your child to grow into a fully functioning adult.

The job of parenting is a very difficult one with no instruction manual is issued when the child is born. It is instead a learning experience for you and your child. Please feel free to ignore the latest study and go with your gut feelings. If in doubt ask someone you consider a great parent and ask your questions, but don't be surprised that after the basics are answered they often say you have to learn to go with the flow.