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Myths on Parenting

Together Forever, Aid Association for Lutherans, Appleton, WI, 1997, pp. 166-167

Myths on Parenting Children will turn out well if they have "good" parents. Parents are a vital factor in a child's development, but they are only one influence among many, including school, the media and a child's peer group. The goal of parents is to teach strong values and reinforce positive behaviors in the hope that their children will use them in their own lives. But there are no guarantees. One of the most important things you, as parents, can do, is to insure that you have a strong marriage and are setting a good example for your children. Children improve a marriage. Rearing children is a team effort. The bond between partners can intensify as a couple raises children together. But, children also tend to put enormous strain on an intimate relationship. Couples without children are frustrated and unhappy. Most couples without children are very happy and content. However, many of them do have close relationships with children of extended family members or friends. Having only one child is too few. Although many believe that only children are spoiled and selfish, that's not necessarily true. Studies show that there can be advantages and disadvantages to this. One child is less expensive and demanding on parents, and typically receives more attention. However, parents may focus too much attention on the child or overprotect them, and only children may experience loneliness. Children appreciate the sacrifices their parents make and the advantages they provide. Most parents want appreciation for the sacrifices they make for their kids. Unfortunately, children often take their parents for granted until they get on their own. Parents need to focus on the everyday pleasures and satisfactions of raising their children and appreciate the small thanks they get along the way. Parenthood receives top priority in our society. Unfortunately, making money, not parenting, receives top priority in our society. Parents are pressured to put their jobs first in order to get promotions, and in some cases, just to remain employed. Love is all it takes to be a good parent. Love helps parents put up with the many difficulties they encounter in child rearing, but success also requires hard work and sound parenting skills. Parents alone should rear their young. Parents are ultimately responsible for raising their children. But, it's helpful to have extended family and friends for support. Society has a stake in the outcome and will benefit from supporting parents through this challenging process.