Kate Forster gives her guide on how to not be a dickhead parent:
- Don’t be a Tiger Parent. Don’t demand they practise until they hate the thing they’re learning. Just because you didn’t get to learn the violin doesn’t mean they want to. They will hate it and you in equal parts in the future and hold it against you. Start saving for therapy now if you continue this.
- Don’t push them at school. Get them to pass and teach work ethic. My kid just passed her final year but focussed on her passions. She is now going to graduate with a double degree and is starting her Masters in what she loved since she was small.
- Don’t go away on holidays and leave them behind. They remember. This will come up in therapy. It’s called abandonment and it’s gonna bite you in the bum one day, hard. Real hard. Keep adding to the therapy fund if you keep doing this too often.
I’m not so sure about number 3 – most parents were couples before they were parents and there’s nothing wrong with a little time away without children providing they are well looked after in your absence and you also have holidays with children.
4. Don’t lecture your kids about not drinking when you drink every night in front of them.
Children learn more from watching what you do than listening to what you say.
But it was #5 to which I said a vehement no:
5. Don’t tell your kids to not try drugs. They will. You can’t stop them. Educate them about safe choices instead.
Taking it for granted your children will do something that is illegal, harmful, even potentially life destroying; and that could restrict career and travel choices, isn’t how not to be a dickhead parent.
Not all young people will take drugs. The best way to ensure they don’t is by your own example and by ensuring they know the dangers and consequences of taking illegal drugs and that they have the skills and confidence to make the right choices before they need to.
There is no 100% safe choice when it comes to taking drugs and a parent who lets their children think there is, is letting them down.