Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Ever-Changing Child

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The Parenting Breakthrough: Real-Life Plan to Teach Kids to Work, Save Money, and Be Truly Independent

"...not only am I coping with different kids, but they change every year and even minute by minute sometimes. It's like waking up every day and finding a new computer on your desk. How are you supposed to keep up with that?" The Parenting Breakthrough, page 7.

Chapter two in The Parenting Breakthrough is all about the importance of "why" and not just "how." I loved the way she put that: it's like waking up to find a new computer on your desk each day. 

Change is hard, right? Whenever a website redesigns, you will find people upset about it. This is especially true of social networking sites. The other day, I rearranged my living room, and while the kids were excited, my husband and neighbors were all resistant to it, and only accepting once I assured them it was a short-term change (I needed a change of scenery for winter). Change can be hard.

So no wonder we find the change in our children hard. Like the Baby Whisperer said, Just when you've got it, everything changes. That isn't easy, especially because A) The child, unlike a redesigned website or rearranged living room, doesn't stand still for several months. She will change again tomorrow and B) You are responsible for the well-being of this child. It isn't a matter of "accepting" the change--you need to work with the change. 

And this, my friends, is what brings us to my favorite point to reinforce to you over and over again.

Why, why, why.

You must learn why. You must figure out why you do things and what your ultimate goals are. You must learn the why and understand the theory behind what you are doing. Some say why is more important than how (I am with them). Others say why is as important as how (sometimes, how is important, but not always). But never does anyone say how is more important than why. 

You can't spend your time memorizing scenarios from parenting books. You just can't. The book can't cover it all for you, and you can't remember it all even if it did.

Understand the why.

Why, why, why.

*Note: I did realize, AFTER writing this post, that I wrote a post inspired by the first quote back in December--but it is a totally different post, so I decided to continue forward with this one.

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4 comments:

Mollie Energy said...

Val - Can you give some example of this in a follow up post? For example, I constantly prompt my child to say "please" and "thank you" because I want her to be polite and respectful. However, I don't see how to would change over time or from day to day. I find this confusing when I think about it in practice.

Plowmanators said...

Hi Mollie, I am not sure exactly what you are asking. Are you wondering how being respectful will change, how reminding your child will change...

Sorry I don't understand :)

Mollie Energy said...

I guess that's not the best example. I guess I'm just wondering if you could give a few examples of focusing on the "why" and how it improves parenting.

Plowmanators said...

Sure thing. In the meantime, check out the "why vs. how" for posts on the topic to help you grasp it more.

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