[BlogEntry] The Parenting Manifesto

Taking the cue from Hugh Macleod at gapingvoid, Rebel Dad is calling for 500-word manifestos on "any parenting/balance topic you can think of."

Here's mine:

Educate your kids. At any pace they want, in any direction they want, in whatever way seems to work. And I don't mean drilling the 3yr old on quotes from Hamlet, and I don't mean working out calculus problems with the 5yr old. But when one of them experiences something of the world around them and says "Why?" then it's your job to have an answer. Sometimes they'll understand it and sometimes not. If not, then maybe they'll ask why again and you'll try again. Or maybe they'll get bored and walk away. It is better to have an answer that they don't understand than to patronize them with something just to make them go away. If you feel like you need infinite patience it is only because they have infinite curiosity.

There are no brick walls when explaining something to a child. There are no dead ends, even though it may sometimes feel like that. Every answer to every question is feeding their wonderful little brains inside their beautiful little heads, and some day in a future that's closer than you think, she's going to experience something and she's going to remember what you said. That's going to make her react in a different way than she did the first time. That's going to provide her with new experience. Maybe she'll come back and say "Why?" again, or maybe she'll work it out on her own. Repeating that many many times is how they grow up.
You've got a front row seat, and you get to do more than watch. So be ready. If that means educating yourself, then get started.