My Uncle Paul is something else. He’s a child psychologist, a national lecturer, and an all-around great guy. Over the years, he’s built pizza ovens, Windsor chairs, and painted intricate renderings of fish on old slate tiles. And now that’s he’s a grandfather, he’s been inspired to use his creativity to craft and sell lovely wooden toy swords. And, in true Uncle Paul fashion, each sword comes with a pamphlet about the benefits of creative play for children and his three primary parenting rules for all child’s play.
The good news is that all of these parenting rules can apply to many parenting situations— and make your life easier in the process! These rules are for parents to share with their children. So courtesy of Uncle Paul, here are 3 parenting rules to make life easier.
1. Be nice and don’t hurt anyone.
We can say this to our children as they head out to play with friends whether they’re playing with their sisters or brothers or whether they’re going to school. It’s a general rule that packs a lot of punch. By simply telling them to be nice, you encompass not just words, but actions. And by reminding them not to hurt anyone, you cover emotional hurt and physical hurt.
2. Control your power, your anger, and your body.
This parenting rule can be shared with children both young and old. We want to teach our children that, ultimately, they are the ones who must control their physical power, their emotions, and their actions. This parenting rule teaches our children about the concept of responsibility. No one can “make” them do something wrong. They may feel a certain way, but they must control how they react. (You can use these 7 Secrets to Self-Discipline Kids to help your child with self-control.)
3. Mother and father giveth and mother and father will take away.
Many of the things in our children’s lives are privileges. An iPad? Privilege. If you can’t be nice to your sister, Mom will take away your iPad. That new lacrosse stick? If you lose your temper and hit your brother with it, Dad will take it away. This parenting rule helps our children understand that we, as their parents, will exercise our right to take away things that aren’t appreciated or are used inappropriately.
So take a tip (or two or three) from my Uncle Paul. They come in handy with or without the wooden swords!
Let’s Talk: Do you believe in mother and father giveth and mother and father will take away?