3. Then ditch the kid’s table.
So often we put kids at the kids’ table, with the kids’ menu. Simple conversations, simple food. It’s important to let kids be kids, but it’s also important to expose them to the world of adults.
My sons joined the dinner table with the rest of us, ate the same foods and we raised them to be interested in the adult conversations. And it’s still one of my greatest prides when they come home to visit, join one of my dinner parties, and engage in kind-hearted debates with guests twice their age.
Beyond cultivating their minds, this helps kids build relationships with other parents. When my sons had questions, I wanted to be able to say, “Go talk to so-and-so.” I created a community of other people who cared about me and my family. This taught my boys to seek advice and comfort from people who weren’t their parents, about school, teachers, their struggles and their pursuits.
Exposing my sons to the world of adults early on gave them role models for sure, but it also taught them that they were not alone, that there is nothing unmanly to depend on others, and that asking for help is human.
4. Build a community around your family.
We are often afraid when our children don’t abide by the norms. We want them to be unique, but we don’t want them to be too different — to feel alone or isolated because of their difference. In American culture, where ball sports often reign…
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