Capital P and that rhymes with T and that stands for true

Comedians are keen observers of our daily existence. That's why they can deliver those zinger punch lines that hit where we live. I read the best parenting advice in a long time in the Sunday Parade magazine's celebrity interview, a source I rarely give much credence. This time, I found it spot on:

In the deli, the server makes a “yada yada” joke, and Seinfeld good-naturedly says, “Hey that’s my line.” Sitting down over a cup of coffee, though, he stops making cracks and starts talking about one of his favorite subjects: raising children.

Although his own children obviously want for nothing, Seinfeld works hard not to be too indulgent. He bemoans the way some people cater to their children’s every whim. Seinfeld has three rules of parenting, what he calls “the poison Ps.” The first is Praise—“We tell our kids, ‘Great job!’ too much,” he says. The second is Problem-solving—“We refuse to let our children have problems. Problem-solving is the most important skill to develop for success in life, and we for some reason can’t stand it if our kids have a situation that they need to ‘fix.’ Let them struggle—it’s a gift.”

Just as he’s explaining the third P—“Giving your child too much Pleasure”—a woman comes in the deli with her three young daughters and buys them all huge cookies. “Can you believe this?” Seinfeld says, gesturing like his TV counterpart used to. “It’s 5:30 p.m.—when will they have dinner? At 8?”

© 2010 Nancy L. Ruder

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