Home > Mom's Life > Family Relationships > Parent/Child Relationships > Essential Rules of Parenting: How to Stay Sane

Slideshow Iconslideshows MORE

|

Essential Rules of Parenting: How to Stay Sane

2 of 7
Fatherdrawingwithyoungboys,children

Know What You're Good At


When my oldest children were small, I was always jealous of those other dads who spent hours tossing a football around with their children. I felt slightly guilty that I couldn't do it for more than a few half-hearted minutes. It just wasn't me.

Then there was the friend who built a fabulous treehouse for his kids in their back garden ("Dad, why can't we have a treehouse like theirs?".) And the mother who created complex and intriguing treasure hunts for every party. And the one who took her daughter to the same ballet class as mine every week but managed to look as if she were actually enjoying it, and…I could go on.

You're probably ahead of me here. I was focusing on what they could do that I couldn't, but actually I could do lots of things they couldn't -- all things I took for granted, but just as valuable.

For example, I love reading aloud to children. And being a fairly outgoing kind of a guy (alright, verging on the exhibitionist), I really relished spending hours reading long stories, doing all the voices and accents and characterizations and sound effects and dramatic whispers and all the rest of it. But it seemed so natural that it was years before I realized that it was just as valuable a skill as treehouse -- building or playing football.

It's important to know what you're good at and to have confidence in your own strengths. That way, you can watch other parents doing things that you never could without feeling inadequate. After all, you and I both know that those other parents can't do everything either. Whenever you feel a hint of jealousy rising, just stop and remind yourself of what you're great at.

Next: Almost Any Rule Can Be Broken Occassionally

More on: Mom's Life

From The Rules of Parenting Copyright © 2008, FT Press. Used by permission of FT Press, and Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

To order this book go to Amazon.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Top 10 Holiday Gifts for Teachers
Offer a genuine "thank you" to your child's teacher halfway through the school year. Give one of these extra-nice holiday gifts for teachers.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top Family Movies in Theaters for the Holidays
Taking the kids to the movies is a special family treat for the holidays! Don't miss 2014's best family films in theaters from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!