A couple of months ago a school down the road asked me if I would address parents on how to bring up children! For a moment I asked myself as to how I’d been selected for the job, and wondered whether it had anything to do with bringing up two daughters, who I have little doubt would have laughed if they’d known their dad thought he’d become proficient in a subject they still consider me a novice!
But it made me do a lot of thinking and something I realized at the end of gathering material for the talk was that unlike any other job on earth parenting is something which we are thrown into as fathers and mothers with no knowledge of what we have to do. Scary isn’t it?
Very often I’ve heard people talk about their terrible childhood and when I talk to their parents I’m told how those same parents invested time and money, love and affection to bring up their children. So what went wrong?
A small survey was done on children in which they listed ten qualities they wanted in parents. These young people, from 24 countries, agreed on these traits they believed were important for all parents to possess. Here they are:
1. They want harmony. They do not want their parents to have unresolved and destructive conflict in front of them.
2. They want love. They wish to be treated with the same affection as other children in the family.
3. They want honesty. And to be told the truth.
4. They want acceptance. They desire mutual tolerance from both parents.
5. They want their parents to like their friends. They want their friends to be welcomed in the home.
6. They want closeness. They desire comradeship with their parents.
7. They want their parents to pay attention to them and answer their questions.
8. They want consideration from their parents. They do not want to be embarrassed or punished in front of friends.
9. They want positive support. They wish for their parents to concentrate on their good points rather than their weaknesses.
10. They want consistency. They desire parents to be constant in their affections and moods.
It appears that these children want what all of us want – respect, consideration and love. In fact, these work well with “children” of all ages. Lets give these ten points a go, shall we?