Dr. Benjamin Spock was an American pediatrician and child-rearing expert who wrote the book on parenting. He died 10 or 15 years ago. I've never been a "book parent" and don't really look to the experts for advice on raising my children. Oh, is it that obvious?
I just mean, I like to think we're all doing the best we can, and there's rarely one right way to do any given thing, or any one method that works with every child. Still, when I'm winding down at the end of the day, there are some parenting dilemmas that puzzle and plague me:
*If something my child is doing doesn't bother me but appears to be annoying someone else, how obligated am I to make her stop?
*At what age can a child be responsible for trimming her own finger- and toenails?
*If my children bathe in the evening-- because we'd never have it together enough for morning showers-- how can I keep their still-damp hair from going haywire when I put them to bed? (Yes, I know, the hair dryer, but... really?)
*What should I do if my child doesn't eat the lunch I pack?
*What should I do if my child doesn't eat, period?
*Is it bad to send my kids outside to play if the wind chill is below zero but they are driving me nuts and really want to go?
*If my child is late for preschool, is that setting a horrible pattern for the rest of his life?
*If my toddler screams every time I put her in a shopping cart, and the only way to get her to stop is to ply her with candy or take her home, am I letting her win? In that instance, how do we get milk and toilet paper?
*Why do all four of my children know how to operate the home's electronics better than I do?