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Author: host Created: 6/16/2008 2:46 PM
Get the latest posts and comments in the Family Life category of the Parent Power Blog.

Confidence is a tricky thing. It usually doesn't happen until you put yourself out there and build it, but confidence is very useful to have to put yourself out there.

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Our family has had some of its best conversations running errands or on long road trips.

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World, you and I are going to be having a lot of these conversations. I'll be reminding you how sweet, gentle, funny, smart, innocent and absolutely wonderful she is, and ask you to be the same with her. Treat her kindly. Fill her with joy. Appreciate her for the amazing person she is. If you don't, you're gonna have a raging momma bull to deal with, and it ain't gonna be pretty.

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My own response to what I heard of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother was at first outrage, but as I learned more, the outrage waned and I've spent the last several weeks looking at my own parenting style and discussing the book with others.

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As is so often the case, discrimination often doesn't become a cause of ours until we've been discriminated against. I guess I am now going to be teaching my kids that old doesn't mean irrelevant, incapable, or incompetent...it means wiser. With the amount of gray sprouting out of my scalp, I am very wise indeed.

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Even though I don't like it, I let them listen to some of this stuff--but I always make sure I know what they're listening to. They know that in order to listen to it, they are going to have to listen to me from time to time talking about what they're hearing and what they think about it. And I hope that this is the right way of dealing with it.

How do you deal with objectionable things your kids want to listen to or see?

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I strive mightily NOT to be a hypocrite in most areas of my life. But in parenting, it seems I can't escape it. Nearly every day, I make a choice that I don't want my kids to make. Here's just a sampling...

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Would I rather my kids be city kids or country kids? What I'd really like is for them to experience the best of both worlds: the diversity, culture and green-ness that I love about the city, with the ability to enjoy nature, grow green things, and see all the stars in the night sky in the country. Maybe that's one of the things I like most about living here: we don't have to be one or the other. We can be both!

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I am completely certain that my ridiculous laughing did NOT give the impression that I meant to portray, which was that I would be horrified if I heard her say that. And why would I laugh at such a middle-school, immature insult? I am ashamed to confess that although I've never used the saying myself, I never fail to be delighted when I hear someone else use it. Thank you, Jack Black.

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I know that you're used to tuning in and finding resourceful answers to tough parenting questions. If I followed my own advice, I'd take myself out for dinner, have a long soak in the tub, and get to bed early so I'm better able to cope tomorrow. But every mom has a day or week that kicks her butt, and right now, my butt is kicked.

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