Thursday, June 01, 2006
Important Parenting Tip #2: Pick Your Fights
Sometimes we argue (OK, fight) with our kids over the damnedest things. Sally wants to wear a short skirt and/or crop top (like we never wore short skirts or crop tops, or worse, back in the day?! Good god, remember hot pants?!?!), Sammy wants to cut his hair in a mohawk (he'll look silly, but it WILL grow out, ya know), Suzie wants to dye her hair pink and green (OK, she'll look like a dang watermelon, but it will grow out, just like Sammy's mohawk), Susan wears too much makeup (oh yeah, right, you never did that, did you?!?!), Shawn's choice in music is horrible and he plays it too loud (and your parents loved your music choices?! and you never played your music loud, did you?!).
The thing is, you need to learn to pick your fights. Is it really necessary to fight with and/or punish your kids over things that are not permanent? things that may be stupid ideas/choices, but not life-altering? Hair grows out, clothes are just clothes (granted, you don't want 'em running about nearly nekkid, but as long as the important parts are covered, it's all good), makeup washes off eventually, and music choices have been known to mature over time....
The time to fight, to be loud (or quiet, whatever works for you), to stand your ground is when the choice being considered has much more far-reaching effects - like going to a party you feel is not on the up-and-up, spending time with a "friend" that you know/feel is a very bad influence, or doing something permanent to his/her body, like getting a tattoo or body piercing before they are legally old enough to do so in your state. OK, with that last one, even if they ARE legally old enough, it might be worth fighting about....
Anyway, learn now to pick your fights, little ones - it'll save you time and stress down the line, I promise.
Posted by Dorrene BrownButterfield at 8:06 PM