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Raising Great Kidz

March 17, 2015

Years ago, our son, 9 at the time, was invited to a friend’s 10th birthday party. Overhearing the conversation, my wife learned that the intended activity was watching a restricted movie. This was difficult to understand, so I phoned the boy’s father to ask.

I learned that the intended movie was restricted for violence and that the father chose it thinking it would up his son’s cool quotient with the other boys. His son wasn’t as popular as the other boys and this was his strategy for giving him a leg up on the social ladder.

In speaking and learning about this from the other boy’s father, I advised that our son wouldn’t be able to attend the party as we don’t allow him to watch restricted movies. I suggested he might want to consider letting the other parents know his plan, as he may have to deal with some angry parents otherwise.

Following the call, we told our son. He was disappointed, but understood.

Our morals and values would come as no surprise to him. We’ve always been clear as to limits and expectations. We didn’t buy our son any gift or provide anything special to compensate for the loss of the party. We treated this as just part of life.

Now many years later, we are as proud of our son as we were then. He’s contributed significantly to his own education, has never been in trouble, has a good job and is financially responsible. We’re looking forward to his marriage to an equally lovely woman.

Raising kids certainly is about the gifts we provide them. The best gifts of all include our time, patience, limits, expectations, generous feedback about our pride in their accomplishments and their perseverance under duress. That is love in action. To the child, priceless.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a father and social worker.

It would be my pleasure to be of service to your family.

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America.

If your relationship is faltering, then set it as your priority.

Read: Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships.

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