The Words That Changed How I Parent


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You know how there are some phrases you hear that stay with you?  Things people say that have a real and true impact far beyond the moment you hear them?

You know how there are some phrases you hear that stay with you? Things people say that have a real and true impact far beyond the moment you hear them?

A woman I admire very much, a colleague, once shared with me something her mentor used to tell her, and it has stuck with me every moment since.  I say it to myself as a parent and I think of it often when dealing with my students.

What you don’t teach your child with love, the world will teach him without mercy.

That is a powerful statement.

When my daughter wants something that she can’t have.  I want to give in.  It’s easier to say yes.  But… What I don’t teach her with love, the world will teach her without mercy.

When she’s upset about something, real or imagined, and I just want to make it better at any cost.  I help her through it, and let her find her way to manage her emotions.  Because…What I don’t teach her with love, the world will teach her without mercy.

When she’s having a tantrum over something inexplicable and I just want to tell her to “STOP IT!”  We talk it out.  There might be consequences for her actions.  Because… What I don’t teach her with love, the world will teach her without mercy.

When she has a problem she is having trouble with and I can see the answer right in front of her.  I help her find the answer on her own instead.  Because… What I don’t teach her with love, the world will teach her without mercy.

When she wants to zip her own coat, put on her own shoes, or brush her own teeth but it’s taking. so. long.  I take a deep breath and let her try, because… What I don’t teach her with love, the world will teach her without mercy.

When she wants to do something that she’s not developmentally, physically, or emotionally ready for, I have to tell her no.  Because… What I don’t teach her with love, the world will teach her without mercy.

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Parenting isn’t easy, and one of the most difficult things about it is watching your child struggle, even suffer.  But if I don’t, who will teach my daughter how to deal with her struggles?  If not me, who will teach her how to keep going when she just wants to give up?  Who will teach her how to accept loss and defeat with grace, learn from it, and move on?

What I don’t teach her with love, the world will teach her without mercy.

Heaven knows I’m not a perfect parent.  Far from it.  But the words of my friend are always in my head, and they help me make the best decision I can for my child, in that moment.

What you don’t teach your child with love, the world will teach him without mercy.

What words have made a difference in your life?  Share in the comments.

How do we teach children to disagree in a respectful way when they have no role models, at least no public role models, to show them how?

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4 Comments

  1. Mrs. Ipockolypse August 31, 2015
  2. purpleslobinrecovery September 8, 2015
  3. Alina August 18, 2016
  4. Jisela December 23, 2016

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