Parenting Should Require a Course, and a License

I was discussing parenting with my younger son, who has two toddlers, a three-year old and a two-year old.  He is discovering that's it's no picnic, raising children, especially when one or more is headstrong and leans towards...tantrums!  Let's face it, good parenting is very hard.  It has been said that one needs to take a driving course and earn a license to drive a car, but any person can be a parent, and there's no instruction manual that comes with the kid!

Even a well-meaning, kind parent can become so frustrated with a screaming, tantrum-throwing child that he or she runs out of patience.  But one of the worst things to do is to scream back at the child or show intense anger--that just compounds the problem.  Most of the time, if it's a young, say, two-year old toddler who is "acting out" it is because he or she becomes frustrated at not being able to express himself/herself verbally.  Often, it's best to hold the child lovingly but firmly, and reflect his (using the male pronoun for brevity) feelings, and encourage him to "use his words," if he is able to speak a little.

Sometimes, especially if the child has a history of having his way after a tantrum, it's not so simple--he may not respond to the above method, instead expecting the parent to give in as usual.  In that case you might have to isolate the child for a little while in his room, say, until he calms down.  The idea to express is, that his behavior is 1) not acceptable, and 2) won't get a response from you.  Suffice it to say, it ain't easy being a parent...
But if you step outside of yourself and your situation for a minute (or have the benefit of hindsight, as I do), it can be hilarious.

And then, before you know it, the difficult stage is over (you know, the terrible twos, the tumultuous threes, the frenetic fours) and the kid finally turns...5 years old. And plays Chopin, calming everyone down.


%Shocked% said…
As someone who is a few stages away from becoming a parent, I guess it's odd that I can already completely appreciate the title of the post as well as the post itself.

A shadchan, pretty well-known at that, told me that he genuinely believes there are people out there who should not have children.

I can't say I've met people who he would have said that about, but I suspect I've come close.

The same way I think pre-marital counselling should be mandatory, parenting should be too. I think it would make a world of a difference for the parents and the children.
Lady-Light said…
%Shocked%: I know I've met people who are already parents who shouldn't be parents; you can't really tell if a couple, newly married, say, but as yet childless are capable of being good parents, or not.
It's often only evident "after the fact," when you see them interacting with their kids.

I firmly believe that kallah and chatan classes for future husbands and wives should include parenting instruction, but I fear most of them do not.
Hatzlachah to you in your finding a kallah and beginning a family. It's the most important "job" you'll ever have.
And thank you for visiting my blog.

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