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The Rules of Parenting, 2nd Edition by Richard Templar

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RULE 55

Keep your fears and insecurities to yourself

Here’s a scenario you may recognise – I’ve seen it many times. You’re at a zoo of some kind, and you’re in the reptile section. A family is watching a beautiful snake with exquisite markings as it moves gracefully along a branch. The watching mother* says, ‘Ugh! It’s horrible!’ The same often happens at the spider enclosure, and again at the scorpion tank.

Now luckily, some kids have got more sense than to take any notice of this. (And most mothers have more sense than to do it.) But there are kids who are susceptible to this, and many, many children who learn to say ‘Ugh!’ to reptiles and creepy crawlies because grown-ups are stupid enough to set an example. Actually these creatures are ...

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