Friday, November 13, 2015


Parenting can be very exhilarating and very exasperating!  Exhilarating and exasperating are very emotive words, wrapped up in feeling either fabulous or frustrated.  Arlene Pellicane (see source below) has identified a number of failures we make as parents. The following is one of them.

"The main question these days is, 'How do you feel about that?'  We’ve downplayed the power of the will to do the right thing even when your child doesn’t feel like it.  Instead, we’ve elevated feelings above all else to our great detriment.  Your child may not feel like doing homework or giving grandma a hug as a CNN article wrote about.  Yet it’s the right thing to do homework and hug grandmas.  Your child should not learn to behave based on feelings.  Ask your child, “What do you think?” not “How do you feel?”   - Arlene Pellicane 

The term, 'If it feels right, do it' can get you into all sorts of trouble.  Feelings are based purely on emotion and we all know where that can get us.  Even with maturity, we can still be swayed sometimes by our feelings.  Remember the emotional roller coaster ride of our teen years?  Yikes!  Decisions based on our emotions can be irrational.


How do we arrive at rational decisions?  We apply reason and logic.  For example, I really want to go for an overseas trip.  It would be so exciting (feelings).  My reason and logic applied would make me think, 'Can I afford to go?'  If I put the cost on my credit card, will I have enough money for Christmas gifts?  Will it be safe?  Do I have accommodation worked out?  Should I get travel insurance in case I get sick or lose my luggage?  Spontaneity (feelings) is fine if you have the means to see the situation through.

We need to teach our kids to apply logic to important decisions.  Encourage them to think and talk  through the choices they make.
1  What do you want to do in relation to post-secondary study? e.g. attend an out-of-State university.
2. What are the positive and negative aspects of this decision?  The university has a great name but
    it will cost more to attend there.  I will be a long way from home, so traveling back and forth
    could be costly.
3. What are the options for achievement?  Should I do the first two years in a State Community
    College and then transfer?  Should I check out other universities nearer home?  Should I work and
    attend university at the same time?

Life is too short to make ill-advised choices.  There are times when we can be spontaneous but, in doing so, we still have to apply logic for safety and expense's sake.

Comments by Sally Burgess, Forefront Families
Source: Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World and 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife. She has been a guest on the Today Show, Family Life Today, The 700 Club and Turning Point with David Jeremiah. Arlene and her husband James live in San Diego with their three children. Visit Arlene’s website at

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