Healthy Halifax Fall 2018: The Way I See It – Raising Children

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The Way I See It

Raising children is a perpetual challenge.

Do we let them take risks or do we protect them? It is an answer most parents figure out as they go along. When children go to school, you have to let them go. It’s a decision every parent must make as his or her kids grow.

There are national experts who encourage us to allow our children to explore and take risks. They suggest you have to allow your child some fears in order for them to learn how to address these fears when they occur. We often read about tragedies involving children occurring in the world.

I really don’t know if these are occurring more than in past decades or are now being reported more often. They tend to make us all more protective.

That balance of protecting and allowing children to grow has been the challenge of raising children. How many risks make our children grow and learn to live in a very risky world?

How do we teach them right and wrong when there are so many decisions that are difficult to decide in the moment? How do we support their values when they differ from our own?

I was once told by a great family physician that you have until grade school to teach your values to your children. After that, they’re listening to their friends and considering the advice of peers. So our focus may be on that first five or six years of childhood.

Every parent has a responsibility to provide values to their children so they can make decisions to survive and thrive in our world. Grandparents and older siblings can also play a role in raising a child. I hope we make the time as parents to give our children the right balance of safety and confidence. They are our future and will one day be in charge.

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