Monday, March 1, 2010

PTTC part 3... Happiness is Contageous

Encourage your children's deepest joys,
not their superficial desires.
Praise their patience,
not their ambition.
Do not value the distractions and diversions
that masquerade as success.
They will learn to hear their own voice
instead of the noise of the crowd.

Parents often wonder how to keep their children from giving in to peer pressures? You can't always, but there are certain kids who will give in and there are those who will not.
The difference is, in part, the way you raise kids to think about themselves. If you always praise sucesses, and encourage children to be ambitious, then they will look for validation from their parents and their peers and society. They might also see themselves as always falling short of your expectations and develop a low self esteem.
The trick is to raise children who are secure in themselves and who make their own expectations, not blindly follow yours, or are diverted by their peers'. Listening to our own voices instead of those of society is a very, very hard thing to do. However as parents we can encourage our children to solve their own problems, instead of relying on us to solve them. This will build a good foundation of critical thinking and common sense.
A child doesn't need to be drilled to "Never take drugs! They'll ruin your life! If I ever catch you taking them..." etc...
Instead, they need to be taught how to think about their own actions and be allowed to make small mistakes so that they have practice solving problems. Letting a child stay up late at night once and then having them deal with the consequences the next morning is actually a good teaching tool, because then later you can say, "Remember how bad you felt the next morning after you stayed up so late? Sometimes things feel good for a little while but make you feel bad for a LONG while."


  1. HI-

    Wonderful post, wonderful. I agree 100%. And again I say, you are wise beyond your tender years - a true old soul with so much wisdom of many life times.

    Love Gail