This is my version of the Sunscreen Song. It is a compilation of advice on therapeutic parenting from people far wiser than I and to whom I give thanks. It has not yet been put to music.
Ladies and Gentlemen, if I could offer you only one tip, it would be Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. The small stuff, when sweated, turns into big stuff and there is enough of that around.
Close supervision is hard but worth it; don’t set your children up to fail because they will and then they will feel like failures.
Baked beans on toast, pizzas from the freezer, baked potatoes: none of these will kill you but they will buy you more time with your children.
Stop trying to control everything, but know when you have to take control because if you don’t your child will feel lost.
Come in from left field occasionally. Surprise yourself and your children. Have fun. Sing. Dance.
Don’t take the bait, you will only get reeled in. Never forget which one of you is the child and which the adult.
Know when to walk away.
Listen to yourself and try not to be a nag, it closes children’s ears.
Create family traditions, they are the glue which sticks you all together. Have fun.
Don’t ignore or exclude but do the opposite. If ignoring and excluding worked, your children would be the best behaved children around.
Don’t project too far into the future or it may cloud the present. The race is long.
Try and sort your regrets about your own life, from your hopes for your child’s life: they are different things.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your children. Get to know them. One day you’ll miss them.
Value every achievement, no matter how small it may look.
Some mysteries are best left unsolved. Don’t try to be Sherlock Holmes.
Try not to lose sight of who you are. Get a babysitter.
Be kind to yourself and remember tomorrow is a new day.
And trust me on this: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.