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The Rules of Parenting, 2nd Edition by Richard Templar

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RULE 56

Mind your programming

I was at school with a kid whose dad went prematurely grey at the age of 30. He was hugely embarrassed by this for some reason, and kept going on about how awful it was being grey at such an early age. Guess what happened? Yep, his son went grey at 30 too. And having spent his whole childhood being told how embarrassing and awful this was, he naturally felt embarrassed and awful about it. His father tried to reassure him but of course it rang hollow – you can’t spend 25 years telling someone that a thing is awful and then suddenly change your mind and expect them to follow suit.

What don’t you like about yourself? Are you fat (in your view)? Bald? Have a funny nose? Weird knees? A stammer? If so, please keep it ...

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