I ran across this note. I think it is from your child. I think these are some things that
they want you to know, but do not know how to tell you, so they wrote them down. They must have misplaced them, and now that I have their words in my hands, I think I should be the one to share what your child wants you to know.
Dear Mom and Dad,
I know that you want what is best for me and that you want me to grow to be a great adult. I know you are new at this, you have only been a parent for a small part of your life. You are doing a good job and I love you but here are some suggestions that I think will help all of us:
- Don’t spoil me. I know I don’t need everything I ask for, I am just testing you to see if you really love me or just do things to keep me quiet.
- Don’t be inconsistent. When you say one thing this time and something different the next time, when you tell me one thing for me and do another for you, I get confused. Why are somethings like smoking or drinking alcohol bad for me but OK for adults? Why is it wrong to lie unless you don’t want to talk on the phone so you have me tell the caller you are not home?
- Don’t make promises you may not be able to keep. You may have good intentions, but be honest and say you will “try” but not that you “will” if you are unsure. Broken promises intentional or not damage my ability and desire to trust you.
- Don’t do things for me that I can do myself. Let me learn by my successes and my failures. Plus, if you insist on doing what I can do for myself, I will let you be my slave and will expect others to serve me. This can damage my future marriage.
- Don’t protect me from consequences. I need to learn from experience. If I do something that results in punishment at school, support the school.
- Don’t always demand I explain my wrong behavior. Sometimes I really do not know why I did what I did.
- Don’t let my bad habits get me a lot of your attention. Doing so will only encourage me to keep them.
- Do be firm with me. Honestly, I prefer that you are firm with me and set limits for me. This lets me know where I stand and what is good for me.
- Do listen to my honest questions. If you are open to me now when I am young, I will continue to be open with you as I mature and face adolescent issues.
- Do try your best to understand me. If you give me that effort I will know that you love me even when don’t like what you are telling me.
- Do encourage me. Complimentary approval goes along way to help me become all that I can become.
- Treat me the way you would WANT to be treated if you were still a child (or when you were a child). This is the Golden Rule.
Your Child ____________________