Parents have an important task: figure out who their child is—his or her skills, preferences, beliefs, values, personality traits, goals, and direction—get comfortable with it, and then help them pursue and live a life according to it. Yet parents also want their kids to be independent, but not if they are going to make bad choices. They want to avoid being too overbearing, but not if an apathetic kid is what they have to show for it. They want to have a good relationship with their kids, but not if that means being a pushover. They don’t want to scream, but they do want to be heard. Good parenting is about striking the balance between a child’s characteristics and a parent’s desire to have influence.
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