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Leman: A child’s 10 rules parents should know

EDITOR’ NOTE: This column originally appeared Jan. 2, 2007

A Child’s Ten Commandments to Parents, by Dr. Kevin Leman

1. My hands are small; please don’t expect perfection whenever I make a bed, draw a picture or throw a ball.

My legs are short; please slow down so that I can keep up with you.

2. My eyes have not seen the world as yours have; please let me explore safely: don’t restrict me unnecessarily.

3. Housework will always be there. I’m only little for such a short time – please take time to explain things to me about this wonderful world, and do so willingly.

4. My feelings are tender; please be sensitive to my needs; don’t nag me all day long. (You wouldn’t want to be nagged for your inquisitiveness.)

Treat me as you would like to be treated.

5. I am a special gift from God; please treasure me as God intended you to do, holding me accountable for my actions, giving me guidelines to live by and disciplining me in a loving manner.

6. I need your encouragement, but not your praise, to grow.

Please go easy on the criticism; remember, you can criticize the things I do without criticizing me.

7. Please give me the freedom to make decisions concerning myself. Permit me to fail, so that I can learn from my mistakes.

Then, someday, I’ll be prepared to make the kind of decisions life requires of me.

8. Please don’t do things over for me. Somehow that makes me feel that my efforts didn’t quite measure up to your expectations. I know it’s hard, but please don’t try to compare me with my brother or my sister.

9. Please don’t be afraid to leave for a weekend together. Kids need vacations from parents, just as parents need vacations from kids.

Besides, it’s a great way to show us kids that your marriage is very special.

10. Please take me to Sunday school and church regularly, setting a good example for me to follow. I enjoy learning more about God.

Taken from “Parenthood Without Hassles (Well, Almost)” by Dr. Kevin Leman, copyright 1979 Harvest House Publishers and “First-Time Mom” by Dr. Kevin Leman, copyright 2004, Tyndale House Publishers.

Copyright by Dr. Kevin Leman. Used with permission.

Dr. Kevin Leman is a Tucson psychologist and author of more than 30 best-selling books, including “Have a New Kid by Friday.” E-mail questions to him at whatsupdoc@tucsoncitizen.com. Photo by Tom Spitz Photography.

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