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Parenting Tips

By Marina Michaels

I like to keep the rules simple, and I like to apply the rules equally to myself as well as to my daughter. For myself, I

I've taught my daughter that just about everything is negotiable; I want her to know she can at least ask for what she wants, even though she might not always get it. I've also tried to enter into her worlds as much as possible, which has included climbing trees, taking walks, enjoying the magic of the stuffed leopard who purred for her once when she was sad (and I don't doubt that it did), and so on.

I also believe in giving her responsibilities, though not beyond what is appropriate for her. When I give her something, it's hers. It isn't on loan; she doesn't have to answer to me for how she treats it (though if she willfully destroys it, I have let her know that I don't feel I have to replace it), and she doesn't have to share it if she doesn't want to. The result is that she treats her things well (though she's more disorganized than I'd like, but I like to think that it is good for a kid to be allowed to be a kid), and she is very generous with her things.

My reasoning on the sharing was that if she is forced to share her things, she'll never feel like she owns them, and she'll therefore feel a lack or scarcity in that area. Whenever people feel a lack or scarcity, they draw in, become more selfish, if you will, and certainly don't want to share. Since she doesn't feel this lack, because she always had full control over her things, she is free to be generous.

I've caught some flack over my parenting style and rules (or lack thereof), but the proof is in the results, and I think the results are wonderful.


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