Parenting Advice from My Parents

I always get a little giggle out of that Mark Twain quote that goes, “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

I don’t think (I hope!) that I considered my parents ignorant when I was a teenager, but as I’ve become a parent myself, I’ve been amazed at how much I appreciate their parenting wisdom that I remember from my own growing up.

One that I remember my dad saying a lot when I was a child is, “I try to say ‘yes’ whenever possible.” And, to his credit, he really did. Unless there was a legitimate or compelling reason to deny us something, he almost always said yes.

Now, as the mom, I’m amazed how easily and quickly “no” becomes the default answer. And so I try to remember my dad’s example, and tell my daughters “yes” as much as I can.

Today, when I was singing my toddler in the rocking chair before her nap, she said, “SING IT LOUD!” And I said yes. (And she giggled at my very loud singing).

Yesterday, after a successful trip to the toilet and the candy reward was handed over, she said, “Will you hide my mint so I can find it?” And I said yes.

And tonight, when she asks, as she always does, for one more story before bed, I’ll say yes.

Janssen and Daddy

You can read more of Janssen’s writing at Everyday Reading and on Twitter. She's also on Google+

Tags: Dad Tips , Mom Tips

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