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An anonymous letter on responsible parenting
By Justine Aragones

I am not a parent but I believe being a parent is one of the most important things that you can do as a person. It takes a lot of patience, understanding, and knowledge especially in this digital age that we are living in. I also think that one should acquire a parental license before becoming a parent so as to be more confident in handling a squirming baby or in communicating with a defiant teenager.

What about you? How’s your parenting experience? I hope it’s rewarding and that you are successful in preparing your kid to be a responsible adult. Indeed, I believe that the heart of parenting is to prepare your kids to become emotionally and intellectually responsible adults.

Let me share with you the following anonymous letter that captures the essence of responsible parenting:

Dear Mama and Papa

Don’t spoil me. I know quite well that I ought not to have all I ask for. I’m only testing you.
Don’t be afraid to be firm with me. I prefer it; it makes me feel more secure.

Don’t let me form bad habits. I have to rely on you to detect them in the early stages.

Don’t make me feel smaller than I am. It only makes me behave stupidly “big.” Don’t correct me in front of people if you can help it. I’ll take much more notice if you talk to me in private. Don’t make me feel that my mistakes are sins. It upsets my sense of values.

Don’t protect me from consequence. I need to learn the painful way sometimes.

Don’t be too upset if I say “I hate you.” It isn’t that I hate you, but only that I need your attention. Sometimes it isn’t you I hate, but your power to thwart me. Don’t take too much notice of my small ailments. Sometimes they get me the attention I need.

Don’t nag. If you do, I shall have to protect myself by appearing deaf. Don’t forget that I cannot explain myself as well as I should like. This is why I’m not always accurate. Don’t put me off when I ask  questions. If you do, you will find that I stop asking and seek my information elsewhere. 

Don’t be inconsistent. That completely confuses me and makes me lose my faith in you. Don’t tell me my fears are silly. They are terribly real and you can do much to reassure me if you try to understand

Don’t ever suggest that you are perfect or infallible. It gives me too great a shock when I discover that you are neither. Don’t ever think it beneath your dignity to apologize to me. An honest apology makes me feel surprisingly warm towards you.

Don’t forget I love experimenting. I couldn’t get along without it, so please put up with it. Don’t forget how quickly I am growing up. It must be very difficult for you to keep pace with me but please try.

Don’t forget that I can’t thrive without lots of love. But I don’t need to tell you all the time, do I? Please keep yourself fit and healthy. I need you.

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