How to Parent: 23 Years of Parenting Experience Summed Up in 2 Words

For months, Dawn and I have talked about writing a series of advice posts about parenting. We’ve been through one strong-willed toddler, one semi-rebellious teen, and one very depressed middle-schooler, three kids in all. Our parenting journey includes some short-term government assistance, an unexpected and difficult career transition, several years of parenting while medicated, and miraculously, lots of joy-filled memories for all five of us.

The Hetricks in Sugar Cane, 2002

[The Hetricks at the Mountain Farm, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, 2002.]

But, as I’ve struggled to summarize what we learned from experience in a simple, how-to-parent intro post, I finally decided that our 23 years of parenting experience can be boiled down to just these two words:

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