There is only ONE factor that will determine your child’s mental and physical health and vitality and future ability to conquer the world.
Contrary to every truism we have been indoctrinated with as parents: here are some things that – believe it or not – are just NOT that important in the long run:
- Grades in school
- How socially conscious his or her toys are – should she really play with Barbies?
- If she says “please and thank you” at the right moments
- How well he obeys
No, the one factor that rises above all others in importance and influence is how well-loved your child feels specifically by you and the rest of the family.
The human child is a pretty rugged little beast and can weather some amazingly tough situations if he feels backed up by his family group.
Just like us adults. If you had to face up to a tough, unsympathetic boss who had some degree of power over your survival – meaning your paycheck – but there happened to be other workers around you who overtly supported your cause, you could go in somewhat courageously and plead your case. Unsupported, it would be a grim proposition.
Of course grades, manners and following your directions are all important to some degree but those come after the fact of a child feeling secure in your love and acceptance.
Please don’t get this confused with praising shoddy work or being lax in discipline when your child strays out of the bounds of decent human behavior. I have seen plenty of smart moms gently letting their child know that they have a letter mixed up a little… but they also include the correct things that the young student did too, like drawing a straight line even though the ‘d’ is backwards.
You get the idea!
If, at the end of the day, you can confidently say to yourself that you demonstrated to your child that you love him and as a result, he knows that he is totally cared for as part of the family, you can also say to yourself that you have been a great parent that day.
(By the way, this goes for spouses too… but that’s another subject)…
Anything you do that creates a more unified and warm family is the right thing to do. And the incredible by-product is that you will feel like you can conquer the world too. And perhaps you just have. Isn’t the world made up for the most part, of families?