While browsing through the F.E.T. workbook (otherwise known as the F.E.T. Adult Resource Book), I came across several myths, truths and principles about parenting that I thought should be reinforced to the public eye!
In no order of importance, here they are:
1. Myth: Parents should always present a "united front" to children
Truth: Your responses to a particular behavior will often be different from that of your spouse.
Principle: Act toward your child's behavior in a way that matches how you are feeling about it. "To thine own self be true."
2. Myth: Parents should always be consistent with respect to dealing with children's behaviors.
Truth: Your response to a particular behavior will often be different, depending on when it occurs (child playing with legos in living room on Saturday morning versus when friends are to arrive for dinner), where it occurs (table manners at home versus in restaurant), and how you are feeling (child playing drum when you feel good versus when you have a headache).
Principle: The situation (context) where a child's behavior occurs will determine your response to it.
3. Myth: Parents should treat each child the same way.
Truth: Your reaction to a particular behavior will often be different depending upon which child does it.
Principle: The age and development level of children will influence your feelings about particular behaviors.
4. Myth: If children get all their basic needs met, they'll be spoiled, selfish, and unbearable.
Truth: Children whose basic needs are not met feel deprived, resentful, frustrated, and angry. These are the feelings that make children emotionally unhealthy and antisocial. Children who do get their needs met are healthier, both emotionally and physically.
5. Myth: The principle duty of good parents is to disregard their personal needs and sacrifice for the sake of their children.
Truth: Parents whose own needs are not met will also feel deprived, resentful, frustrated and angry. They will have little to give to their children and may take out their feelings by mistreating or neglecting their children.
Principle: An effective parent is one who respects the right of children to meet their needs as much as the right of the parent to meet his/her own needs.
Know someone who lives by some of these myths? Pay it forward - share this with them!