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Sunday, 10 December 2006

What Makes a Good Parent: I

Written by  Eve, age 15

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Okay, so first there's the obvious stuff. Someone who can identify, be patient, and is good at disciplining in a nice way - firm and gentle. Like in A Family Apart, where the guy who adopts Frances Mary tells her to "keep your hands firm and your voice gentle." (He was teaching her how to work with horses.)

Identify:

There are times when a kid wants their parent to identify with them - to just laugh and admit they made the same dumb mistakes. Because when you tell parents something you felt bad about, they're invariably going to launch into this great speech about why it's not so bad, why you shouldn't feel that way, what you should have done instead -- and it's like sometimes you don't want that.

When my Mom does that, I tell her, I don't judge my feelings, I try to understand them. Why can't you?

You just want someone to talk to -- someone who knows you better than you know yourself sometimes.

It would help if they were young enough, so they weren't so far away and they could actually remember what it was like for them.

You want your mom or dad to be someone you can laugh with. But also someone who doesn't laugh at you when you're trying to tell them something serious.

I have a very open relationship with my parents compared to some people. But my main problem I think with my Mom is that sometimes I'm afraid to tell her things that embarrass me cuz I want her to understand them, but I know she's going to laugh. Maybe she doesn't laugh but she smiles and I know she's laughing inside.

Things like maybe when I wasn't sure how to respond to something someone said. I'll confide in her about something I'm ashamed about or embarrassed about and she thinks it's sweet and she laughs, but when I accuse her of laughing at me she says, "I'm not laughing at you. I would never do that."

Be Patient:

As in they'll listen to you. Patient as in, they don't like rush in with all this "parently" advice. Patient as in, they don't yell at you for the littlest things. Patient as in, they don't tell you 25 times not to slam the washing machine door when you're just trying to close the damn thing.

It'd be nice to have a parent who is multi-faceted like and can concentrate on a bunch of different things at once.

So I wish I had a mother who could rush to get out of the house and talk to me at the same time. That's where her rule comes in: "When you cross the street, you cross the street," because she's incapable of crossing the street and thinking at the same time. I can cross the street and talk to a friend and dig something out of my backpack all at the same time.

It would be nice to have someone who doesn't hit you when they get mad - even little slaps here and there.

You could also have parents that didn't demand such perfection of their kids. Me and my brother read all the time. My Dad should be counting his blessings. Most parents of kids in my school would kill for their kids to read this much. But my Dad just runs after me about how I read all these Star Trek books 25 times.

He just wants us to read all these quality books and I don't want to read William Shakespeare. He gives me all these books like A Boat of a Thousand Years and then comes in my room and says, Why don't you read them?, and I say cuz I'm reading something else and he says, Yeah, the same Star Trek book for the 25th time.

A good parent is someone who tries to understand you in the least little bit. Cuz most parents don't do that. They think they understand you -- and they don't understand anything.

Last modified on Thursday, 07 April 2011 10:20
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