8 08/01/2008 parenting Motherhood

Podcast – A Parent’s Role in the Social Lives of Our Children

How involved should parent’s be in the social lives of their children?
How responsible are we for their choices and how much can we or should
we try to influence their decisions? Check out my Mom’s the Word video podcast where I share my experiences and views and post yours in the comments below.



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  • http://horor.org/ internet marketing course

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  • http://alimartell.com ali

    how cute are you with your starbucks?!??!?!
    it’s so hard. this whole parenting thing. my daughter Emily is one of those who sometimes is considered “snobby” – i try very hard to explain to her about ‘leaving kids out’ but at the end of the day, i can’t force her to be friends with anyone.

  • http://crumbsintheminivan.blogspot.com CynthiaK

    I agree with previous comments, that we are playing supporting and advisory roles. As a WAHM now, I have to watch I don’t overstep that boundary beacuse it’s tremendously easy to do when you’re ‘on the playground’ with them every day. I read a great quote forwarded from a friend recently:
    “…And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
    You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
    For they have their own thoughts.
    You may house their bodies but not their souls,
    For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
    You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you…” – Gibran Khalil Gibran,
    “Children,” The Prophet, 1923
    It reminded me that my children are individuals and my job as parent isn’t to be master puppeteer nor to make them carbon copies of me (yikes!) but rather offer them the tools and guidance they need to be empathetic, inspiring and productive people as they go forth into the world. Too bad that’s not as easy as it sounds!
    Great topic!

  • Karen

    Hey Jen, thanks for opening up this topic. I feel one of the biggest lessons you can teach your child from the get go is “life is not fair”, then equip them with all of the tools to deal accordingly …..

  • http://www.thisiskat.com/ Kath

    Good topic! I agree that influencing our own children behind the scenes is best – and by influencing I mean instilling good values in them so that they will make good, empathetic and kind decisions in situations with their peers.
    Getting involved and solving the problems for them teaches them nothing, and in fact harms them as they are then unprepared to deal with social situations without a parent’s involvement.
    Learning involves mistakes, and we need to be prepared to support our kids through their own (and others’) missteps. We should talk to them so we are aware of who’s who and what’s going on, and be there to de-brief and coach our kids, but we HAVE to let them be on their own.
    It’s one of the hardest things to do – to let them go out there and make their own mistakes (and successes, too) – standing by in the wings ready to cheer or listen or offer a kleenex and a shoulder to cry on. But I think it’s the only way to effectively prepare them.

  • http://www.urbanmoms.ca Diane

    I found that the best policy was to stay informed about what was going on, be supportive and offer options. Once a parent became involved in the natural day to day interactions there was usually trouble.

  • http://notthemoty.blogspot.com/ LoriD

    Great podcast! I think you need to give your kids the tools to deal with social problems, then back up and let them deal with their own situations. The one thing I do try to instill in my kids is empathy. So, if there is a new kid at school, or a child that seems to be lonely or just outside the social circle, I help my kids understand how that child feels so that perhaps my kid will find a way to include them.

  • Kiersten

    This is a subject that weighs heavy on my mind right now. My oldest is getting ready to start kindergarten in September and I am full of thoughts and mild anxiety about how the interactions will start to change now that I’m not as present in her day to day interactions. It’s so hard to know when to step in and when to step back. I find myself questioning whether I’ve prepared her for the new life of school.
    Just this past weekend we had an experience at a campground where she was bullied (in a very mild sense) by an older girl and I really struggled with whether to step in and speak to this girl and her parent or to use the incident as an opportunity to teach my daughter to walk away from people who don’t speak kindly to her. What I find most difficult is how issues of inclusion and hurt feelings bring up my own childhood demons and I try hard not to let my experiences overshadow my daughter’s own reactions and experiences. Great podcast.

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