Simply put, here are the 6 rules for being a good parent

  • By John Rosemond Tribune News Service
  • Wednesday, December 3, 2014 10:12am
  • Life

Despite the conclusion one might reach after reading the latest issue of any popular parenting magazine, the job of parent is actually quite simple; so simple that I can describe the entire ball of wax in about 15 column inches.

First, a parent’s responsibilities — beyond providing the basic necessities of life — are to provide unconditional love and unequivocal leadership. The “trick,” if you will, is to keep those provisions in a state of balance. Too much of either is toxic. Love without an equal measure of authority expresses itself in the form of numerous enabling behaviors. Likewise, authority without an equal measure of love quickly turns into abuse of one sort or another.

Second, there are but six fundamental understandings that a parent needs to convey, lovingly and authoritatively, to a child:

1. You are to pay more attention to me than I pay to you. (Three Bits of Helpful information: First, all discipline problems are due to children paying insufficient attention to adult authority figures. Second, the more attention you pay a child, the less the child will pay to you. Third, you obtain a child’s attention by simply acting like you know what you are doing.)

2. I am in charge here; therefore, I tell you what to do. (Helpful information: When giving an instruction to a child, always use the fewest words possible and do not explain why you are giving the instruction. Explanations sound persuasive and provoke push-back.)

3. You do what I tell you to do. (Helpful information: Parents who want child to obey for their own benefit don’t get it. Obedience is in the best interest of a child. The research finds what common sense affirms; that is, obedient children are also happy children. You get a child to obey by acting like you know what you are doing.)

4. You do what I tell you to do simply because I tell you to do it. (Helpful information: If you do not accompany an instruction with an explanation, then your child is forced to ask for one. That gives you the Golden Opportunity to respond with the most powerful four words in a parent’s vocabulary: “Because I said so.”)

5. At any given time, I do not care what you think of me or any decision I make. (Helpful information: Parenting is not a popularity contest. When you want your child to like you, you end up doing things that negate your ability to provide leadership, which means you end up enabling.)

6. You can always count on me to provide for and protect you under any and all circumstances. (Helpful information: If your child is secure in that understanding, then the world is a safe place and, therefore, eventually becomes the child’s “oyster.”)

I ask you: Could that be any simpler?

Talk to us

More in Life

Ash was rescued along with Dexter, just before his euthanasia date. (Luisa Loi / Whidbey News-Times)
Whidbey Island woman rescues 300 German shepherds

“Can I save them all? No,” Renee Carr, of Oak Harbor said. “But I’m gonna try my hardest.”

The 2023 Infiniti QX80 has standard rear-wheel drive and optional four-wheel drive available on all models. (Infiniti)
2023 Infiniti QX80 is powerful and posh

A mighty V8 engine does the work while a luxurious interior provides the pleasure.

Kotor's zigzagging town wall rewards climbers with a spectacular view. (Cameron Hewitt / Rick Steves' Europe)
Rick Steves: Just south of Dubrovnik lies unpolished Montenegro

One of Europe’s youngest nations offers dramatic scenery, locals eager to show off their unique land, and a refreshing rough-around-the-edges appeal.

Artist Michelle Downes prepares to work on a few canvases in her garage workspace on Thursday, July 6, 2023, at her family’s home in Stanwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Stanwood artist Michelle Downes creates layered dreamscapes in resin

Resin is one part chemistry and one part artistry. Downes combines the two to make art that captures the imagination.

With winter on the way, October is the time to tuck and roll

That means preparing to put our gardens to bed while taking stock of the season gone by so we can plan for the year ahead.

Made by Bruce Hutchison, the poster for “A Momentary Diversion on the Road to the Grave” is an homage to 1985 classic “The Goonies.” (Photo provided)
Indie film premiering on Whidbey Island

Filmed almost entirely on Whidbey Island, “A Momentary Diversion on the Road to the Grave” is set to premiere in Langley.

TSR image only
Does your elementary school child have ADHD?

It’s important to identify children with this condition so we can help them succeed in school.

Great Plant Pick: Acer japonicum Aconitifolium

Fernleaf full moon maple, known for its foliage, develops brilliant fall color whether in full sun or shade.

Home grocery delivery predates online shopping by decades

This bicycle from 1930s England was built for delivering groceries. It sold at auction for $1,200 in U.S. currency.

Barb Denton smiles and laughs with her Jeep Cherokee Laredo that she has driven for 32 years on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘Red Dragon,’ stolen from Sea-Tac, mysteriously returns home to Everett

Barb Denton’s rig of 348,000 miles was found three miles from home, intact, with a half-tank of gas and an empty bag of Oberto sticks.

This photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions shows a submersible vessel named Titan used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic. In a race against the clock on the high seas, an expanding international armada of ships and airplanes searched Tuesday, June 20, 2023, for the submersible that vanished in the North Atlantic while taking five people down to the wreck of the Titanic. (OceanGate Expeditions via AP)
A new movie based on OceanGate’s Titan submersible tragedy is in the works: ‘Salvaged’

MindRiot announced the film, a fictional project titled “Salvaged,” on Friday.

This Vacasa rental is disgusting. Can I get my money back?

The vacation rental Carol Wilson books for her group through Vacasa is infested with rats and insects. Vacasa offers to refund one night, but can they get all of their money back?