Inherent in the art of parenting is the feeling – at least the occasional one – of guilt. Putting Oreos and the remote in front of the t.v. in the morning for your 4-year-old’s “Special Breakfast with Sponge Bob” while you sleep in is one of those times that guilt is warranted.
Sometimes, however, parenting experts say our seemingly “bad” behavior isn’t really so bad… and sometimes it’s actually good for our kids. Consider the following…
“I regularly have a babysitter but I don’t work outside the home.”
Babysitter blameworthiness? Know this: A fulfilled and rested parent is a happy parent and a happy parent is a good one.
It’s o.k. and it’s beneficial for you and for your child to take time for yourself. Not only will you be happier, you will be modeling for your child the importance of self care. Consider the term “my time”, which Jim Fay, co-founder of the Love and Logic Institute and co-author of the bestselling book Parenting with Love and Logic, uses when he discusses setting limits for a child who must go to sleep.
Mr. Fay recommends explaining to your child, “We’ve had your time (ie. reading a story to her), and now I’m going to have my time.” While children can understand the concept of “my time”, parents can benefit from understanding the importance of it.
“I refuse to play (fill in the blank) with my kids.”
Refusal remorse? We all have our limits.
It’s important to know what they are, in order to avoid cracking. Some parents, for example, would rather be run over by a car than play mini golf: you go through all that effort and when your shot is accurate, the ball still doesn’t go in because the greens are not real – at least not as real as the clown face that is left smiling at you when you miss, mockingly…(or so I hear).
“I ignored my whining toddler.”
Disregard Despair? It’s o.k. to ignore a child’s behavior sometimes. Fay says, for example, “Let’s suppose you set a reasonable boundary for a child and he wants to cry or carry on about it, then it would be appropriate to ignore the behavior.”
He explains that in such a situation, a child is trying to get out of a limit, yet children need limits for their physical and emotional safety. Instead of giving in to your child or reacting with anger or frustration, Fay suggests it’s more beneficial to maintain your limit and wait to address your child when he has calmed down.