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The Rules of Parenting, 2nd Edition by Richard Templar

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RULE 23

Parenting is not a competitive sport

The other day I was talking to another parent about our children’s eating habits. I commented on the fact that mine would snack on crisps and biscuits all the time if we kept them in the house (which is why we don’t). ‘Oh I’m lucky,’ she said, ‘Mine would rather eat fruit and raw vegetables anyway.’ Now, considering the way her two had recently tucked into the biscuits they’d been given as a treat, I doubt this is even true. But the point is that this was a classic competitive remark, intended purely to put me and my kids down, and thereby raise her and her kids up.

One of the classic competitive parenting events is potty training. I know parents who have started putting their babies on the pot at ...

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