- Thou shalt not consider “your” child to be any different in kind or quality or fights or privileges than any other child on earth.
- Thou shalt not teach children to be violent by being violent with them.
- Thou shalt not teach children to be unpleasant and abusive by being unpleasant and abusive with them.
- Thou shalt not shame a child for not excelling and leaving you feeling ashamed around the parents of more successful kids. Your need for “your” child to excel is your problem. You may shame a child only for not trying.
- Thou shalt not make a child feel guilty for not loving you enough. Make a child feel guilty only for hurting other people.
- Thou shalt not teach a child to fear. Instead you will let the child teach you to stop fearing the things you fear now.
- Thou shalt not teach a child any of the traditional nonsense about gender, about what he or she is permitted to feel, what he or she is permitted to do.
- Thou shalt not let your gender determine your functioning as a parent. Specifically, do not let yourself get trapped into doing a great deal more or less of the parenting than your partner. Such a triangle will eventually destroy all three relationships. Children need fathers as much as they need mothers; fathers need children even more.
- Thou shalt not pull back from loving your adolescent just because they must pull back from you and your efforts to control, protect, or fix them. It is just when they hate you most that they most need your steady, reliable love.
- Thou shalt not destroy your child’s childhood so you can relive yours. Don’t worry, if you can stick it out you will ultimately be much rewarded. You may even be rewarded with a grandchild and get to start the process all over again.
Reprinted, courtesy Psychology Today
P.S. Commandments are easy to make but hard to follow! If you are struggling to put any of the Ten Commandments of Parenting into practice in daily life in your own family, contact us at the Montreal Therapy Centre for online or in-person child therapy, family therapy or individual psychotherapy.