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Relax, you don’t matter that much anyway.

Has it been a long week?  Has your child been trying your patience?  Are you so overwhelmed with parenting advice that you are feeling like you can’t possibly get everything right?


It is time to pour yourself a glass of wine, put up your feet, and listen to the
Freakonomics Radio Podcast:  “The Economist’s Guide to Parenting”

The podcast is an hour long, and you might feel like you really don’t have time to sit and listen to it. But if you do actually listen to what these folks have to say, you’ll probably feel like you should put your feet up more often, because to summarize the Freakonomics Team’s major findings, “Parents just don’t matter as much as we think they do” and “obsessive parenting has few rewards.”  Plus these guys are really entertaining.

Some other highlights (but really, listen to it yourself):

Your kids don’t need a different scheduled activity everyday.  It won’t make you or your kids happier, and it won’t make your kids more successful in life.

If you smoke, your kids are more likely to be smokers, too.  Quit smoking – it could be the most important way that you can influence your kids.

How you treat other people – the example that you set – will likely influence how your kids treat other people in their lives.

Stress, anxiety, and guilt will not make you a better parent.

Best of all: “At the end of the day, the BEST parent is probably the HAPPIEST parent.”

So give yourself a break.  Make a little time for yourself this weekend.  Don’t worry so much.  And then go have fun with your kids.

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  1. Zandra #

    Alice, I love your website! Especially this post. I think it probably sums up my feelings as a pediatrician. 🙂


    September 26, 2011
    • Thanks Zandra! Please be sure to call me out if I get anything wrong from a pediatrician’s standpoint. And I would love to have you write a guest post sometime if you are interested! Tell us how you really feel… I have so much appreciation for your specialty now that I have a kid. There are so many passionate feelings and yet so much misinformation around raising a child.


      September 27, 2011

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