Taking Children Seriously

Parenting generally goes pretty smoothly when you and your child agree. You do what you both agree on. It’s what you do when you disagree that determines what kind of parent you are. Do you try to hide disagreements because you believe your child is fragile? Do you put your foot down? Or do you try to cooperate with your child to figure out the truth of the matter, solve problems, and understand more about the world?

Parents aren’t always right. Kids are complicated and you’re not going to correctly understand everything they say, do or want. Lots of family conflicts are due to mutual misunderstanding. The best way to handle that is to focus on learning together. And remember, if your child magically listened to everything you said, then there’d be no progress in the world. Children have to go their own way sometimes, and have some new ideas, for them to have a better life than you instead of just the same life.

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