Parental Advisory: 8 Fights Worth Picking With Your kids

Parenting is hard.  Parents have to choose their battles.  Here are 8 fights worth picking with your kids:

The Reading Fight:
Make your kids read. Because reading is tied to everything from cognitive development to the ability to focus. Make your kids read now.

The Outside Fight:
Make your kids go outside. The natural world teaches us things. Plus, outside there's sunshine, fresh air, and exercise waiting for them. Most importantly, nature is full of things in short supply in our world: Discovery, wonder, peace, joy.

The Work Fight:
Make your kids work. I’m saddened by how many parents don’t require their kids to lift a finger at home. There are priceless life principles you can only learn with a mop in your hand.  Let sweat be their teacher.

The Meal Fight:
Make your kids eat as a family. Our lives are a blur of incessant activity. Meals together are a physical pause to recover a truth so easily sacrificed at the altar of busyness. Nothing's more important than family.

The Boredom Fight:
Make your kids live with boredom. Don't show a DVD on each car ride. Kids need unscheduled time. And, odd as it sounds, boredom is a skill. It's hard as a parent to deal with the assault of boredom complaints. But if you give in and fill up their time with external stimuli, you'll raise an activity addict. Make them learn how to be.

The "Me First" Fight:
Make your kids go last. Not every time for everything, but enough to remember that the world doesn't revolve around them. Take the smallest piece. Give up the remote. Do someone else's chores. Get their least favorite choice. They won't like it, but they need it.

The Awkward Conversation Fight:
Make your kids have uncomfortable conversations with you. Sex, dating, body image, values... Your kids will roll their eyes and resist. You will stumble and stutter. They need and want your perspective, lessons learned, and wisdom.

The Limitation Fight:
Learning to live within limits is a valuable life skill. In fact, many adult problems arise from an inability to accept them. Screen time limits, dietary limits, activity limits, and schedule limits are all good.

As a parent, you have to pick your battles.  They're not easy, but they're worth the fight.
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