From Dr. Jane's Notebook

As happy as one's unhappiest child?

There was a time when the word on the street was that you only had to worry about kids for the first 18 years. (Woman in labor: "Doctor, Doctor, How long will the pain last?" Doctor: "Oh, about 18 years.")

As it turns out, you never stop worrying!! What’s more, I just found out the latest in parental maxims: You can only be as happy as your unhappiest child. Who knew?

Throughout the child-rearing process the job of parent continually changes. Parents must now learn the fine art of helping enough but not too much. Just like when our kids first learned to walk, they are bound to stumble and fall. Parents can either pick their children up and carry them forever, or encourage them to draw upon their own resources. We must be confident that they will find their own sense of balance. A little bit of help and a little bit of sympathy go a long way. When we provide a sympathetic ear, our children miraculously discover their own answers to problems. As you slowly step back out of the way, you can actually watch them grow!

ęCopyright, 2001, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.

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