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Dropping the dummy
Dropping the dummy
Parent24 Editor, Scott Dunlop

Karen and my kids were making up funny addictions yesterday. Jonah came up with a good one: He’s six, and he claims to be a “familyoholic”. Cute, eh? That’s an obsession I hope stays with him. I’m no stranger to addictions and habits (as a smoker) and I’m currently facing that particular demon head-on. Doing my best to quit what someone once described as the craving which is never satisfied. I won’t bore you with the details, but it has made me a little introspective. Introspection isn’t always a bad thing, especially for parents.

There are plenty of bad habits which can affect families. Addictions can destroy a family and ruin individuals- most of us are aware of that, but sometimes there are simple behaviour patterns which can slowly squeeze the joy out of life, too. While serious addictions may require professional help to resolve, we can also sort out some bad habits on our own.

As moms and dads, we know what it is to help our children modify their behaviour. Each dummy which has “gone to dummy heaven” and every potty now gathering dust in the attic is proof of that. Sometimes it takes months to help our kids adapt to new patterns, but we do get it right. It’s not just that they grow up- they’re actively learning from us.

I’m sure we can figure out ways of getting rid of some of our own “dummies”.

If you’re not sure about options for resolving addictions and bad habits, you could always ask our forums- you’d be surprised at some of the helpful advice, support and even just frank admissions which go on in there. It can be helpful just to open up in a safe environment.

There are also good habits and passions- My daughter Hannah is quite keen on being a danceaholic, for example. I bet you could all come up with some pretty interesting “good addictions” of your own. As professional encouragers, it’s normal for us as parents to take notice of the good things our children do and to cheer them on. How about we act as our own cheerleaders, too?

Whoa! I didn’t mean to get too serious. After all, it’s the beginning of the school year, and there are some exciting times ahead. Don’t forget to send in your back-to-school photos - you could be in line to win a stunning Google Nexus 7 tablet!

Gooooo, parents, goooooooo!

Have you ever kicked a bad habit or helped your child to kick one? Tell us how you managed, and you could win a R250 voucher.

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