Do we learn from the mistakes of our parents with us, or do we just make the same ones with our own children?

When we have children, we have an ideal as to how we want to bring them up. We remember what we liked about our own childhood and what we didn’t like. Then we resolve not to do what we didn’t find very pleasant when we were growing up. Now we have our own children, we believe, and feel able to make informed decisions about how we raise our own children, in relation to how we were brought up, but it is not so simple…..

Times change, and what worked really well for your parents 25 years ago, is sometimes completely irrelevant today. But there are a lot of things that still work today, just as well as they did in years gone by, such as learning to be polite and greet people when you meet. But then it also used to be that children ‘should be seen and not heard’. No longer! And thank goodness. Children can contribute so much to their parents lives, and the interaction between them and you is a vital part of constructing a mutually rewarding and meaningful relationship with them as they grow up.

It used to be acceptable for a child’s mum to do all the work raising him, and a dad would go out and earn the money. Not any more, if you are not involved fully as a dad, then you are really missing out. When you get back from work, or a day away, give your partner a break and immediately get ‘stuck in’ with your child. Play with him, change his nappy, feed him, wind him, or help with his homework, but make sure you do. Don’t be a ‘distant father’, there in thought but not deed….. Always remember, your child needs a fully involved dad like you, just as much as he needs his mum, and he will value that though out his entire life.

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