Recent national events that have been before us unhidden and unbidden for years in our adult lives are now encroaching on our children.

Last week they heard words like “siege” and “insurrection” as they heard adults question the longevity of democracy. For more than a year now they have been attentive to the rules surrounding their daily lives regarding COVID 19.

As parents it’s our job—in my view—to be the steady trusted adults in their lives who hear their questions, listen attentively, respect their points of view, and love them for all of that.

 

To narrow the focus a bit I’m thinking of kids who turn ten in 2021.

“My first double digit year,” they’ll tell you proudly.

I want their first double digit year not to be marred by adults confused about how to develop a national conscience.

I want their first double digit year to continue building their budding aspirations, growing minds and bodies so they can embody

their own version of a rapidly growing conscience.

 

Here are a few parenting tips:

  1. Be the parent who listens attentively to your ten-year-old without interrupting him or her as words flow from their minds and souls about what is important to them.
  2. Read their books, watch their videos, go online to follow their interests with them. That is, learn how their minds are working, growing, exploring, and discovering.
  3. They need us to help them as they are maturing enough to grasp that the world is complex. Neither good nor bad but very complicated. Listen or watch the news with them for short time periods so their questions are answered, they remain aware, yet aren’t overwhelmed by too grown-up decisions and choices they cannot conceivably consider for themselves.
  4. Delight in their energy, their vigorous voices, whatever enchants them, so they know how we love them and everything all about them. Then they will feel loveable.
  5. Give them our time. We aim for quality time but can’t really predict when it’s needed. Sometimes they need our time and our ears when it’s inconvenient for us. That’s parenting life. Drop what you’re doing and pay attention and listen heartily if that’s the moment they are charged with ideas and questions. Lately this may occur at any moment as the world around them is changing or not changing enough but in both cases not always in the ways we wished for them.
  6. Ten years on this earth. A mere decade of life outside of utero. Just contemplate that fact.
  7. Enjoy the natural world with our ten-year-old’s that we are fortunate is still growing around us that we need to conserve and preserve.
  8. Love them when they stumble, make mistakes (even big ones), face disappointments and frustrations and model how to persevere anyway.
  9. Help then learn a great deal throughout their tenth year of life for it’s own sake, not grades, not rewards, not even approval and praise, but just because learning is so joyful.
  10. For kids who like affection, give it easily and welcome it easily as well.

PARENTING A TEN YEAR OLD

with EMPATHY

is 

CHALLENGING AND EXCITING.    2021

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Tangential to today’s tale about empathy toward our wonderful children in this confusing world, here is another resource from the website Choosing Therapy:

“Ten Signs of a Narcissistic Parent and How to Deal with Them” https://www.choosingtherapy.com/narcissistic-parent/