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Going positive
Adventures in Parenting
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I’m just dying to attend a funeral where the deceased is eulogized as a "no good scoundrel who deserves to be headed six feet under."

Okay, I’m only joking; especially since this very well could be my own eulogy. But, seriously, isn’t it interesting how we seem to learn more about the virtues of a dearly departed in the half hour it takes the minister to speak than in all that person’s many years of living?

This kinda reminds me of how many of us parent. I’m guilty. Too often, I speak of my children using a negative voice. The kind and loving remarks, many times, are eclipsed by the gripes and complaints about non-compliance and flat out disobedience. You should hear me, I’m embarrassed to say. On any given day, I’m quick to pick up the phone, ringing my mom to tell her about the deviant ways of her grandchildren and how they’re simply driving me crazy. I excitedly offer colorful details of their offenses, not missing a single detail of the boys’ shenanigans and unbecoming personality traits. My mom is complicit as she encourages my negativity and usually sums up her thoughts with: "I don’t know how y’all deal with these kids today!"

Ranting about the boys, ashamedly, is such a comfortable activity for me. Yet, the truth is, both my mom and I know that I am mother to three wonderfully fantastic boys. And, in fairness to me, I do speak about their positive qualities and the honor they bring to our family—only not nearly enough.

Parenting expert Bob Lancer recommends focusing on your child’s gifts, strengths and talents 95% of the time and "going negative 5%." This not only builds a kid’s self esteem, but healthier parent-child relationships. The 95% rule is a benchmark for us all and reminder that people should hear about all the incredibly inspiring traits of our children while they’re alive and well.