natural family living, natural home,  natural home magazine, natural parenting, natural family

Featured Advertisers: Natural Products Guide | Birthstone Jewelry

Why the changes to the site?
We look a bit messy while make some extreme changes to the look and the way we publish the website.
Scroll down to continue to enjoy our great articles!

We're your "how-to" resource for natural family living, natural beauty, natural home, health & wellness, and natural parenting. No matter what your personal or parenting style, we offer tips, tools and information everyone can use!
Why do we have advertising on our site?
NFO Home
Bookmark us
NFO Chat Groups
Can't find what you need? Use our web search function near the bottom!
Subscribe to NFO's free eNewsletter!
Natural Living
Natural Living
Entertaining & Holidays
Natural Beauty
Natural Pets
Product Reviews
Book Reviews
Health & Wellness
Health & Wellness
Children's Health
Natural Soulooooo
Vegetarian Lifestyle
Attachment Parenting
Babies & Children<empty> 
Natural Family Living
Pregnancy & Birth
Free Baby Website - Affordable Baby Web Site
FREE safe and secure baby & toddler websites!
Buy Books!
Mountain Rose Herbs
FREE Baby or Child Website
Balter Catalogue Co.
Resource Links

Contact & Reprints
NFO Staff & Contributors
Advertise with us
Writer's guidelines
Google ads are not personally selected by our admin team.
Find out more.

Babies & Children Article
Join our newsletter for new article updates!

Look At It From A Kid’s-Eye View

By Mark Brandenburg

As a child, the critical eye of my father seemed to follow me around wherever I went. — Arthur C. Clarke

It's quite easy for most fathers to look at their kids with a critical eye. And why not? There's a lot riding on the outcome of your kids' development. There's the nagging worry that you're not doing your job well enough and that your child will develop "problems."

There's also the fear of being judged as an incompetent or uninvolved father by others. And there's the relentless presence of your children, making mistakes by the truckload while you watch.

They do make mistakes. Lots of them. And you have a number of choices about how you respond to those mistakes and how critical you are of your kids. Let's consider some different ways of looking at this issue to see if we can get some perspective.

A different angle
If you're a father who's really honest with yourself, you'll acknowledge that much of the judgment and criticism that you have towards your kids is really your own critical judgment about yourself. It's usually easier to be critical of your kids than to turn the spotlight on yourself, isn't it? If you're not careful as a father, you may run the risk of "teaching" your kids low self-esteem through your criticism and judgment of them.

Doesn't seem fair, does it?

Fathers who see their kids as capable and whole, on the other hand, will find far fewer opportunities to be critical of their kids.

There are other reasons why you should be more understanding with your kids. One reason is to remember what it's really like to be a child.

For instance, can you imagine the formidable combination of having a brain that's not yet able to exhibit emotional control and living in a house where you're constantly told what to do by your parents? Think about it for a minute. How many times do our kids get told what to do each day? How do you handle getting told what to do all the time? It's a wonder that kids respond as well as they do.

How about teenagers?
How about your teens at home? They certainly should be able to respond better to parents based on their experience, right?

Not according to a recent study by the National Institute of Health. A large study of teenagers found that as the brain develops, it trims away excess cells so that what's left is more efficient. One of the last parts of the brain to complete this process is the prefrontal cortex, which controls planning, judgment and self-control. Many teen-agers have not experienced the "maturation" of this part of their brain.

"(Adolescents) are capable of very strong emotions and very strong passions, but their prefrontal cortex hasn't caught up with them yet. It's as though they don't have the brakes that allow them to slow those emotions down," said Charles Nelson, a child psychologist at the University of Minnesota.

Researchers say this may help explain the often irrational behavior of teenagers — the mood swings and the risks they're often too willing to take.

"If I walk into a class of kids who are 14 or 15," said Nelson, "those kids have a level of brain maturity that just does not map onto the kinds of emotional decision-making that a lot of those kids are being asked to make by teachers and parents. The more teachers and the more parents that understand that there is a biological limitation to the child's ability to control and regulate emotion, (the more) they might be able to back off a little and be a bit more understanding."

What are your kids capable of?
It can be quite easy for us to judge our kids harshly. But when you can begin to enter your child's world and consider the developmental limitations that exist, the call to a kindler and gentler way is undeniable.

Your kids will continue to make mistakes. Your job is to stay calm, love them, and gently show them a different way — and to be thankful that your kids are here to challenge you to become a more patient person.

© Mark Brandenburg.

NFO regular contributor Mark Brandenburg, MA, CPCC, is the author of 25 Secrets of Emotionally Intelligent Fathers. Sign up for his free bi-weekly newsletter, Dads, Don't Fix Your Kids, at

Google ads are not personally selected. Find out more.


Natural Family Online Home Baby Care Feeding Baby Solids Parenting Teens
FREE Baby or Child Website Baby & Kids' Teeth Flu Articles PMS Articles
Free NFO eNewsletter Baby Sleeping Gentle Child Discipline Positive Parenting
NFO Chat Groups Babywearing - Baby Slings Homeopathy Articles Potty - Infant
Balter Baby Breastfeeding Information How to Use Homeopathy Potty Learning - Potty Training
Balter Catalogue Company Breastfeeding Problems Homeschooling Articles Pregnancy Health
Balter Wholesale Company Breastfeeding Milk Supply Healthy Body Pregnancy Homeopathy
Balter Catalogue Blog Breastfeeding - Other Healthy Home Pregnancy Morning Sickness
NFO Shopping Pages Breastfeeding in Public Healthy Mind & Mental Health Pregnancy Nutrition
Natural Family Resource Links Breastfeeding & Thrush Health & Wellbeing Pregnancy Problems
Natural Family Online Blog Breastfeeding Weaning Herbalism Pregnancy & Relationships
Blame Mama Zine Children & Healthy Eating Internal Cleansing Pregnancy Articles
Blame Mama 411 Circumcision - Circumcise Kid's Education Reading to Kids
Disclaimer and user agreement Cloth Diapering Kids & War Sleep Articles
<empty> Co-sleeping & the Family Bed Natural Cleaning Stress Articles
<empty> Dad Articles Natural Family Lifestyles Unschool Articles
<empty> Diaper Rash Natural Family Meals Vacation Articles
Natural Family Article Index Do it Yourself Gardening Natural Family Planning Vaccination Articles
Alcoholism & Homeopathy Do it Yourself - Home Natural Labor & Delivery Vitamins & Minerals
ADD - ADHD Do it Yourself - Hygiene Natural Parenting Winter Health & Family Articles
Attachment Parenting articles Do it Yourself - Kid's Crafts Natural Soul - Home Articles Women's Health
What is Attachment Parenting? Emotional Intelligence in Kids Organic Food Articles Yoga Articles
Baby & Child Natural Remedies Exercise Articles Parenting Stress <empty>

© 2003, 2004, 2005 Blame Mama Media All Rights Reserved. Web Hosting by Blame Mama Media. Most Graphics by .