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Imposing our ideals on our kids

May 3, 2013

Here’s a life-changing idea…                                                                                                                          

In his book, Soft-Spoken Parenting, H. Wallace Goddard says,

“We may be quite unaware of the assumptions that we impose on those around us. We each have a script filled with notions about how people should act. When someone acts differently, we may become quite indignant” (p. 17).

 In other words…

We all have scripts for our children. We expect them to do certain things—chores, homework, play, etc. What’s more, we have definite ideas about how those things should be done. We want homework done tidily and right after school. We want them to eat healthy meals and be as polite as the Queen of England. We want them to share and get along with others. We want them to be an idealized version of ourselves.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life…                                                         

The next time your child exhibits a behavior you deem as unacceptable, consider his or her needs and motivations. For example, a whining child may be hungry or tired; a child who takes a toy from another child may want to join the playgroup. Take the time to help them meet their needs and find a better way.

 To find out more…

about parenting, check out The Parenting Journey or See the World Through My Eyes or Getting Our Hearts Right programs at, follow us at or contact your local county Extension agent. You might also enjoy reading Soft-Spoken Parenting.

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