Tag Archives: guide

Have You Accepted the Child You’ve Got?

Acceptance of your child is the single most important factor in insuring your child’s self-confidence and strength of will to resist the negative influences we spend so much time worrying about. Acceptance is often a hard concept for parents to get because it sounds as if we’re supposed to accept everything our child does—and that’s just not good parenting.

It’s easiest to think about acceptance through your own experience. Did you feel accepted for who you are or did you think that your parents would love you more or be prouder of you if you were different, more like your brother, got better grades, excelled at sports—just simply someone else? Did you feel accepted or approved of only when you behaved a certain way, felt a certain way? And did feelings of rejection (unintended on your parent’s part yet perceived on your part) cause you to pull back or try to be different? You probably can’t answer this because these changes are very subtle and slow to adapt.

“People stop showing the parts of themselves that have been rejected, trying to tuck away these traits in order to survive,” says Nancy Rose in her new book, Raise the Child You’ve Got—Not the One You Want. Nancy explains that, “As parents, we create stories about our children….The story comes out of our perception of who our child is, based on reality, but heavily influenced by our beliefs about ourselves and the world. The story we’re creating then becomes our reality, and our perspective narrows.”

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When My Dog Pushed My Buttons and What I Learned from It

The other day I went kayaking with my husband, some friends, and my puppy, Maggie. Last summer, Maggie’s first summer, she learned to nestle with me in the dell of my kayak. She wasn’t always happy to sit still but she got better as the summer progressed and seemed to enjoy being out on the water with us. This summer I was anxious to see what she retained from her kayak experience.

As I had done the previous summer, I attached Maggie’s leash to her harness and tied it around my waist. She would have none of it. I worked for a while encouraging her to sit as she had done last summer (when she was much smaller I might add). As she kept fighting what I wanted her to do, I got more forceful and controlling until I was screaming at her and trying to push her down into a sit.

She squirmed and barked and refused to sit. She tried to get up on the bow of the boat, and I pulled her back afraid of her falling off. Forget paddling! Everyone was now way ahead of me, which I was actually grateful for, as I didn’t want them to hear our power struggle. Her yelps and barks—my growling and yelling. I have often said, even when our last dog was a puppy, that no child ever pushed my buttons as much as my dogs!

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