I’m here at the National Association of Independent Schools conference in Atlanta, where, among other illustrious speakers, Wendy Mogel is going to give a talk. Yay!
Mogel is the author of “The Blessings of a Skinned Knee,” and “The Blessing of a B-Minus.” But at the top of the menu of articles on her home page is this simple list that I have referred to many a time, just to feel better. You may too!
OVERPARENTING ANONYMOUS, by WENDY MOGEL
1. Don’t confuse a snapshot taken today with the epic movie of you child’s life. Kids go through phases. Glorious ones and alarming ones.
2. Don’t fret over or try to fix what’s not broken. Accept your child’s nature even if he’s shy, stubborn, moody, or not great at math.
3. Look at anything up close and you’ll see the flaws.Consider it perfectly normal if you like your child’s friends better than you like your child.
4. Work up the courage to say a simple “no.” Don’t try to reach consensus every time.
5. Encourage your child to play or spend time outside using all five senses in the three-dimensional world. How come only troubled rich kids get to experience time in the wilderness these days? Send your kids to summer camp for the longest stretch you can afford. Enjoy nature together as a family. It’s an antidote to screen time.
6. Don’t mistake children’s wants with their needs. Don’t fall for a smooth talker’s line about the urgent need for a smartphone “in case of an emergency, Mom!”, a new car “because it’s so much safer than your old van,” expensive limited edition sneakers because “they’re an investment. Really!” Privileges are not entitlements.
7. Remember that kids are hardy perennials, not hothouse flowers. Let them be cold, wet, or hungry for more than a second and they’ll appreciate the chance to be warm, dry, and fed.
8. Abstain from taking the role of Sherpa, butler, crabby concierge, secret police, short order cook, or lady’s maid.Your children are hard-wired for competence. Let them do things for themselves.
Read the rest of this great list here. It goes to 26! And Wendy, I’m at Let Grow, Booth 140! — Lenore