The secret behind great parenting

Spear Cartoon 3976

Cartoon of an annoyed boy next to a sleeping mom. The boy says, “Hey! It’s four in the morning. Why aren’t I the center of your universe?”

Whenever you become a parent, you want to do everything you can to make sure that precious child will have a great life. You start to think about college. You may have a baseball mitt already picked out. You may even start dreaming about what a great boy or girl that child will be.

Of course, nobody can prepare you for the challenges. Maybe the baby has colic for the first few months. Perhaps you had no idea how much time it would take to take care of this little one. But you pull through and continue to think of your child’s future even when they’re driving you crazy. Everyone wants to see their child succeed, right?

There is one secret to parenting that will help your child succeed, even thrive in the world and it isn’t about make him or her the center of your universe!

“Wait a minute!” you may ask. “What about my child’s self esteem?”

I’ve got news for you. Making your child the center of the universe will only cause her to be disappointed when she gets into the real world. Either he will find out he wasn’t as special as he though and begin a downward slide, or he will push back against the world and end up becoming a jerk and a bully.

Now you shouldn’t make your child feel horrible either. Beating anybody with words or deeds doesn’t make them better. It only makes them resentful, bitter and a bully.

The secret is to teach our kids to love others as they love themselves. You can’t do that by making them feel they are better or worse than anyone else.  You do that by showing love and respect to others as well as themselves. You do that by teaching them to respect and obey you, even while they learn to respect themselves and others.

If you teach your kids they are special… but so are the other seven billion people on this planet, then they can have a hope and a future.

Cartoon: She Loves Chocolates

Cartoon of someone throwing Valentine chocolates at a man

Cartoon of a man talking to another while a box of Valentine chocolates hurls towards them. The man says, “When she sees my Valentine gift to her, she’ll forget our fight. She can’t resist chocolate!”

I can’t recall this actually happening to me, though I probably deserved it more than once. I am thankful for my valentine of twenty-six years. I promise not to start a fight today, or in the near future… if I can help it!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Cartoon: Exploding Relationships

Cartoon of a guy and a girl. The guy grabs his head and says, "*Gasp!* I can't take this much honesty in a relationship! My head is about to explode!"

Cartoon of a guy and a girl. The guy grabs his head and says, “*Gasp!* I can’t take this much honesty in a relationship! My head is about to explode!”

Pardon Me/Love Me

Illustration of a man reluctantly holding a loving cat

Illustration of a man reluctantly holding a loving cat.

Sometimes love come when you least expect it… or want it. Cats are notorious for wanting affection on their own terms. I believe they wait until the least opportune time, then spring into action. Of course, they don’t care to love you when you come home. They wait until they are certain you are about to begin a new project.

One nice about having a cat, is they help promote procrastination. Everybody can use that, right?

Jabbing at Picture Books

Cartoon of a dad reading a bedtime story to his son. The son says, “Read me the one about the dad who loved his son no matter what!”

USA Today has an article about the guys from JibJab getting into the picture book market. Gregg and Evan Spiridellis are using iPads and what they’ve learned from the e-card market  to bring kids into the picture book… literally.

I loved the fact that technology can bring picture books into a new realm. Just think what could happen in a couple of years! We could have animated picture books where the child is embedded into the story as if it was a home movie. There could be pop-up books that utilize 3D technology to put the child in the story. How would a kid react to see themselves pop out of the story? Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Some people may see this as a bad thing. But I believe any technology used to tell a story can be just as legitimate as any other. Content is the important thing. A poor story will flounder whether it is done traditionally or with every bell and whistle a programmer can throw at it. At the same time, a good story will shine whether it is done on back of napkins or in an iPad app.

However, technology can get in the way of a parent. If an e-reader is used in the place of a dad who doesn’t want to read that dad-blamed story for the one-hundredth time, then something very valuable is lost. Kids need to have their parents read to them whenever it is possible.

What are your thoughts?