Monday, May 2, 2011

Have a Parenting Question? Ask Your Child!

In my last post, Mom To the Rescue!, I mentioned a presentation I attended. The presentation was called Choosing the Right High School For Your Child. I only went because one of the presenters was Madeline Levine, who wrote The Price of Privilege and was featured in the documentary Race to Nowhere.

I thought overall Levine was pretty good. She talked about things children need like unconditional love, acceptance, and hands-on learning. I was happy to see parents around the room taking notes, writing down the words "unconditional love," in hopes that the act of writing it down would help the concept to sink in.

The rest of it was not so good. Even just the title and premise of the event did not sit right with me. It would have felt better to me if the title were Choosing the Right High School WITH Your Child, or if any of the parents who attended had brought along the person who would be attending said chosen high school (there was not one child in the audience).

Boarding school was on the list of topics covered. I don't know if that is even "a thing" anywhere else in the world besides here in New England, but apparently it is a big thing here. There was a lot of talk about why boarding school is so great and how to choose among the wonderful options.

One presenter, headmaster of a boarding school, kept saying that choosing a high school for your child is "THE most important parenting decision you will EVER make." Um, ok.

But it was a question from a father in the audience that really got me riled up. He asked the panel, "How do I know which one is better for my child- boarding school or day school?" It was at this point I wanted to jump up out of my seat and grab the microphone and say (shout):


My reaction to that question got me thinking, asking your child is a good place to start with a lot of parenting dilemmas. The next time you are faced with a situation with your child and you aren't sure how to handle it, try this simple method first:
  1. Ask your child.
  2. Listen to your child.
  3. Trust your child.
There is no one more qualified to help you figure out what your child needs.

Open conversations with your child, then open your ears and open your mind to the possibilities.

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