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How Would You Parent Your Friend’s Child?

Posted by Rebecca Staples

Would you like a break from the emotions of parenting? Here’s a little trick: Parent your friend’s child instead.

Parenting is emotional. Our strong emotional connection to our children is a powerful and challenging part of parenting. Sometimes these emotions can blur our vision. Or just wear us down. When you need some perspective about your child’s behavior, try asking yourself a simple question:

How would I parent my friend’s child in this situation?

When it’s our own child acting out, we often feel worse about bad behavior. A good way to lessen emotional intensity is to imagine that you are managing a friend or neighbor’s child. Does it seem less stressful? We think sometimes it might.

Think about listening to your infant cry. The sound of that cry affects you more than the sound of another baby crying. Our own children tap deeply into our emotions, and rightfully so.

That’s why this question can be a quick way to switch from your emotional to logical brain. We don’t have strong emotions attached to our friends’ children the way we do with our own. If they misbehave, it’s much easier to see the whole view and make a decision based on logic, not emotion.

If you would like more advice around emotional parenting, this article is very helpful: 4 Tools To Help You Stay Calm With Your Difficult Child.

Please feel free to share with our community below. Parents often find it helpful to discuss parenting techniques with other readers.

Wishing you calm this week,


Empowering Parents Director of Community Support


About Rebecca Staples

Becky Staples has worked with children and families in a variety of settings including schools, homes, and community agencies. She has a degree in Education and Child Study from Smith College and her Masters in Marriage and Family Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Becky has been working with Empowering Parents families since 2008.

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