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What should parents be worrying about?

Published on: December 30, 2013

I was lucky enough to be on a ParentMap Pathways panel Tuesday night with four super-stars. The audience was terrific, too, shooting smart, thoughtful questions at us.  The topic: “Slow Parenting in a Slow Economy.”

What came across from the panelists, from the audience, from just about everyone was this: Hey, we’re trying our best. We have no secret potion that magically molds us into perfect, nurturing parents. And though we “experts” have endless ideas, all based on diligent research and helpful prose, other variables – the kind beyond our control - come into play in this biz we call parenting. Genetics. Culture. Peers. Politics. Sheer luck.

As a parent (and grandparent!) I’ve learned to not dwell on the minutia. We worry – maybe too much – about how much TV our children should watch. Whether they should study a foreign language by the time they’re two. How we should handle sleep problems, temper tantrums, sibling rivalries and peer relationships.

What should we be worrying about?

We should be worrying about setting good examples – the kinds of examples we’d like our children to follow. We should be worrying about how to be the people we hope they become. Let’s look a bit closer at our own tantrums, rivalries, relationships and choices. We are the real models. Like it or not, our kids turn out to be a lot like us.

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