Parenting Isn’t A Job

Parenting Isn’t A Job

Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t hate my kids.

In fact, some of the time, I downright love the little jerks! They’re fun in very specific, individual ways, which is delightful, and they’re annoying in mostly general, every-kid-is-like-that ways, which is forgivable.

But I do hate parenting, at least some of the time. It’s a tough gig. And referring to it as a “gig” is part of the problem. Because parenthood is not a job. And treating it like one – like a chore to begrudgingly complete – is bad for everyone.

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The Disease of More

The Disease of More

My 7-year-old always wants more.

He wants more toys, even though he doesn’t play with half the ones he has. He wants more dessert, even when he can barely ask for it because his mouth is already full of dessert. He wants more time before bed, which he usually gets by tortuously extending the bedtime routine. All this demand for more makes me want less — less whining, less stress, less kids!

Of course, children aren’t the only ones who want more. Adults have the same obsession, especially parents.

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Glass Half-Full Parenting

Glass Half-Full Parenting

One of the great lies that many parents tell themselves is that their kid is perfect.

You know how it is — they’re your little angel and can do no wrong! They’re the cutest baby in the world, and you’re pretty certain they started walking and talking before everyone else’s baby because they’re so smart! Bow down before the greatest child who has ever lived!

This delusion gets harder to maintain as your child gets older and the things they can — and do — do wrong start piling up. But there is a way to keep it alive…

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How Do You Teach Gratitude?

How Do You Teach Gratitude?

Like many parents, I always kind of hoped that my kids would absorb decent human values through osmosis.

That just by being around average, decent people who enact and embody basic human decency on a daily basis – like me and Mom and Buried! – they’d eventually become imbued with those intangible qualities we expect good people t have.

But if my 7-year-old’s lack of gratitude is any indication, it hasn’t been working.

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“Not All Men” Is Meaningless and Counterproductive

“Not All Men” Is Meaningless and Counterproductive

One night in college, a friend summoned me to her room.

I’d been interested in her for some time – I wanted to be “more than friends” – but up to that point, things had remained chaste. It was late, we’d both been out separately, doing whatever it is we’d been doing, and when I got to her room, she was clearly drunk.

Twenty years later, I still remember how I felt that night.

This is why “NotAllMen” doesn’t matter…

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