3. You tell your child it's not his/her fault even if it really is. If Suzy pushes Billy off of the sliding board and Billy starts crying and says he doesn't like Suzy any more, comforting the crying Suzy by telling her it's not her fault is neither serving Suzy's emotional intelligence nor is it honoring Billy's feelings. Suzy needs to know that her actions affect the people around her and sometimes, we make poor choices. The better thing to do is to ask Suzy, "Billy is hurt and sad right now, what would you like to do to make this better?" Her response may not be to walk over and apologize right away, but maybe she'll make him a card or ask him to play something else. Let the apology be her own, but acknowledge the effort.
2. You force children to display affection to "strangers." We talk about "stranger danger" and yet, when we attend a gathering with family or friends that our children don't know, we insist they give Aunt Mary a kiss! Sparing a distant relative's feelings by forcing our children into uncomfortable situations is not a good move. In fact, it's contradictory and confusing. Teach your child to shake hands or blow kisses instead. It's just as cute and allows kids to keep their distance while maintaining their comfort level and still let's Aunt Mary feel loved.
1. You compare other people's kids to your own—in front of your children. Parents, don't we deal with enough blame, shame and guilt from our own beliefs without putting it on each other? So what if Jamie's kids don't eat meat? Who cares if Bill and Donna let their kids have iPhones? Those are their kids and their rules. That doesn't mean you have to change your beliefs to compete with them. So unless someone is actually harming their child, what if we just let parents parent? And what would happen if we all decided to take our favorite things from each other and implement them? And what if we would then thank each other for sharing them? It sounds crazy, I know, but just imagine what a different world this would be?