'IE=EmulateIE7' http-equiv='X-UA-Compatible'/> Simple Parent Tips - Parenting, Etiquette, Schools: Parenting from 2 to 42

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Parenting from 2 to 42

When children are young, growing and moving through their elementary years, parents have responsibilities in many ways. As a parent, you are responsible for the support, direction and guidance of your child’s life, from keeping an eye on activities to assisting with homework to driving to clubs to giving hugs.

However -- many parents don’t realize that parenting responsibilities don’t end when their child starts high school.
As a principal, I worked with parents who stopped supporting and disciplining their child when the child started high school. The parent stopped acting like a parent and started acting like a friend. High school students need just as much support, guidance and discipline as younger children. A teenager’s world completely changes when they go to high school. New friends, sports, clubs and many other influences will affect their lives and decisions. Your teen will have many friends in high school, but only one parent. During the high school years, a teenager definitely needs the guidance, discipline and support of a parent.

When young adults go to college, they continue to need just as much support as in high school. That support just comes in other ways. Chances are your child will be moving out of the house when starting college. They will make decisions on health, finances, jobs, friends and school options. Your child will be dealing with questions like: How much time do I spend studying? What do I say to a professor when I’m struggling? How do I balance work, school and my social life? The best parent is not a friend, but a parent that supports and provides guidance.

Even when your child graduates from college and starts their first job, they will need your support and guidance. At that point, they could also be dealing with questions on marriage, careers and children.

The interesting thing is that once you make the decision to become a parent you will always have that responsibility. The only thing that will change is the scope of how you guide, support, discipline and love your child - not whether or not you are a responsible parent.

So -- if you are thinking about having children, remember parenthood doesn’t end when your child is in high school, or goes off to college, or even when they get married. Parenthood is a lifetime profession. It is a profession that you cannot quit, be laid off from, or refuse to go in when you’re sick. It’s your job for life to be an excellent parent, a kind, loving and supportive parent.

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