Lessons for my fatherhood from an unknown child

DEAR MOM & DAD,

Don’t spoil me. I know quite well that I ought not to have all I ask for … I’m only testing you.

Don’t be afraid to be firm with me. I prefer it .. it makes me feel more secure.

Don’t correct me in front of people if you can help it. I’ll take much more notice if you talk to me in private.

Don’t make me feel that my mistakes are sins. It upsets my sense of values.

Don’t be too upset if I say “I hate you.” It isn’t that I hate you, but only that I need your attention.

Don’t protect me from consequence. I need to learn the hard way.

Don’t take too much notice of my small ailment. Sometimes they get me the attention I want.

Don’t nag. If you do, I shall have to protect myself by appearing deaf.

Don’t make rash promises. Remember that I feel badly let down when promises are broken.

Don’t forget that I cannot explain myself as well as I should like. This is why I’m not always accurate.

Don’t tax my honesty too much. I am easily frightened into telling lies.

Don’t be inconsistent. That completely confuses me and makes me lose my faith in you.

Don’t put me off when I ask you questions. If you do, you will find that I stop asking and seek my information elsewhere.

Don’t tell me my fears are silly. They are terribly real and you can do much to try to understand.

Don’t ever suggest that you are perfect or infallible. It gives me too great a shock when I discover that you are neither.

Don’t ever think it beneath your dignity to apologize to me. An honest apology makes me feel surprisingly warm to you.

Don’t forget how quickly I am growing up. It must be very difficult for you to keep pace with me but please try.

Don’t forget I love experimenting. I couldn’t get along without it, so please put up with it.

Don’t forget that I can’t thrive without lots of love. But I don’t need to tell you all the time, do I?

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