From Dr. Jane's Notebook

Raising Healthy Children

Across the land, parents scratch their heads wondering how to raise their children. Since the world has changed a great deal and situations facing our children are increasingly complex, its hard to develop a philosophy of childrearing which will guide us in our decision-making. There is no perfect approach to parenting but there are several basic concepts which can be helpful. Here are a few thoughts on the matter.

The mutual exchange of ideas and thoughts between parents and children invites a relationship based on honesty, trust and open communication. As parents and people, we are not always right and do not always have the answers. When we allow our children to disagree, they have less need to hide, rebel or prove us wrong. Instead, it is possible to learn from each other.

Everything we do and all that we say is an example we set for our children. In the end, they turn out to be just like us! However, our job as parents is also to set boundaries for our children and say "no" when appropriate. All of these positive approaches to parenting do not preclude parental influence and establishment of rules. On the contrary, when there is mutual respect between parents and children, it is easier to enforce the rules.

Like any other parent, I hate making unpopular decisions and being called "old-fashioned", but more than that, I hate worrying about my children's safety. When it comes to trusting my children, there are no limits; when it comes to trusting the world, there are many limits. As parents, it is our job to help our children prepare for safety and be prepared against danger. When danger is real, I am willing to be unpopular. But as with everything, just when I think "they're gonna hate me", they surprise me and seem to appreciate that I care.

ęCopyright, 1996, 1998, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.

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Last Updated January 10, 1999 by Gary M. Grandon, Ph.D.