Tuesday, January 23, 2018

My Parenting Answers on Quora (What's a Quora?)

I haven't been blogging a lot lately because life has been incredibly busy. I've also been spending a lot of time on Quora, so much so that within about a year 500,000 people have read my answers.

What's a Quora?  It's a question and answer site. Mostly I answer questions about parenting, teaching and judo because I consider myself to know a bit about these topics. Just in case you are not on Quora, here are a few of my answers on parenting.

WHAT ARE YOUR SECRETS TO RAISING SUCCESSFUL KIDS?

Wow, I wish I had secrets. The best advice anyone ever gave me was “Ask yourself if you are dong this for yourself or for your kid. If you can honestly answer you are doing it for your kid, you won’t go wrong.”
The second best advice came from a coach who said, “AnnMaria, I’m 53 years old. I don’t need a 15-year-old friend.”
I have gone through some hardships in my life - juvenile hall, foster care, divorce, the death of my husband. After you’ve been beaten, had someone take you to court and try to get custody of your child and had the person you love most die, there isn’t much people can threaten you with. As a result, I really don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks about my parenting or what the neighbors or relatives thought when I let Jenn drop out of high school at 16 and go to community college or let Julia go to boarding school at 14 or let Ronda move across the country to train for judo or let Maria start school a year early.
Often, I hear parents give lip service to how important their kids are but then they put up with an awful coach or won’t switch their child’s school because they care what the other adults will think about them.
I think education is important and it is one thing you can give your child that will help them their whole lives, so I made sacrifices to give them the best possible education, from working 2 or 3 jobs to pay for NYU to moving to Minot so Ronda could get speech therapy.
I believe in that Greek ideal of a sound mind in a sound body and tried to get all of my children involved with sports, although they weren’t all equally on board with that, none of them entered adulthood obese or unhealthy.
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What are some good parenting tips you can give me (a teen who is looking forward to being a parent) that I can use in the future?

Never hit your child unless you’d hit an adult under the same circumstances. I have four children and I have hit them a total of 4 times (one of them twice and one of them never). I hit one for running into the street so she would never do that again. I hit one when she was trying to wash her little sister’s hair with bleach. She didn’t know any better but she never tried that again.
Experiences  > stuff. I spent a lot of money on private schools and training camps for my children, but none of them had a new car until they made enough money to buy their own.
Do parents ever look at their teen/adult child and just stop to appreciate that they raised an amazing person and brought them into the world? Like, "That's my child. Look how great they turned out". 

Yes. Just about every day. I tell my children whenever they get down on themselves, “Just because you’re not perfect, doesn’t mean you’re not great.” They are great.

2 comments:

Rick Matz said...

... and even if you do all of the "right" things, it's still a crap shoot. I've seen parents who did everything right and their kids still didn't make it.

You have to do the work, but you can't guarantee the results.

Dr. AnnMaria said...

I agree, Rick. I've seen the same thing, parents who did everything right but somehow their children made the wrong decisions. You can increase the odds by doing the best you can for your children, but there are no guarantees.