How to Raise Kids Who Aren’t Assholes: Science-Based Strategies for Better Parenting from Tots to Teens by Melinda Wenner Moyer

4. “I’m Telling the Truth, Dammit!” How to Raise Kids Who Won’t Lie or Swear – or At Least, Not When It Matters

  • All children swear and lie. Both are a part of normal brain development. Even if you are the rare parent who never swears in front of your kids, they will hear swear words somewhere. Kids lie to avoid getting into trouble and to impress others. Like all of us, they also engage in “white lies,” like telling someone they like a gift when they really don’t. Although they will face bad examples in the world outside the house, parental behavior is vital if you want kids who understand why it’s important to tell the truth and limit swearing to situations that feature extreme frustration or injury.
  • Kids will lie more often if they see others lying without consequences. Be sure to compliment them for telling the truth after they make a mistake. Above all, stay calm when you catch a kid doing either. Ask questions and explain how either can be hurtful. Be sure they know that there are some words they must never use such as racial slurs and sexual harassment. Teach your kids about the benefits of honesty. If a child engages in compulsive behavior in either, you should seek the help of a therapist. Be open with your kids about your life rather than hiding important aspects from them. Look for stories about negative natural consequences that result from lying or swearing to share with them.

5. “Girls Can’t Do That.” How to Raise Kids Who Aren’t Sexist

  • Once children are old enough to understand what the older people in their lives are saying, they encounter a lot of gender words in conversations. Melinda’s advice is to use as few gender words as possible when you talk to your kids and to suggest that your school does the same. Try to let children choose toys they like rather than pushing gender-typical toys. Also, try to have your kids play with children of the opposite gender. Be sure to ask your boys about how they feel, and don’t fuss about appearance or weight in front of your girls.
  • Sexism is learned. Your conversations can outweigh what your kids hear outside the home. Above all, talk about sexism with your children. (Doug: Women who enter typically masculine careers may have an advantage as many employers want more women in traditionally male jobs.) Try to find books that feature people in roles that are not stereotypical. If your kids make sexist comments, be sure to challenge them.

6. “I’m Perfect.” How to Raise Kids Who Have Healthy Self-Esteem – but Aren’t Narcissistic

  • Self-esteem is a measure of how much confidence and value people feel they have, and it’s difficult to measure. It’s not the be-all and end-all that some may think, but it can help one avoid a number of mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety. Be careful not to give inflated praise. When you do offer praise, try to praise effort rather than telling them they are smart.
  • Don’t try to protect them from failure. When they do fail let them know you are happy that they tried and encourage them to figure out how to do better. Make sure they know that your love is unconditional and not based on their achievement (like grades). This does not mean, however, that you shouldn’t have high expectations. The goal is to think you are good enough. That’s hard when you are faced with constant pressure to be better.
Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter Share this page via Google Plus     If you like the summary, buy the book
Pages: 1 2 3 4