I wish I could say I wrote this, but I didn't. I found it on MySpace, so I can't even give credit to the writer. I think it's fantastic and I will be printing it out and hanging it up.
Dear Mom and Dad,
1. Don't spoil me. I know quite well that I ought not have all that I ask for. I am only testing you. Love is not measured by the number of gifts you bestow on me, but the way you listen to me, respect me and guide me as I grow up.
2. Don't be afraid to be firm with me. I prefer it, it makes me feel secure. It helps me learn boundaries.
3. Don't let me form bad habits. I have to rely on you to detect them in the early stages.
4. Don't make me feel smaller than I am. It only makes me behave stupidly "big." My self esteem is fragile.
5. Don't try to discuss my behavior in the heat of the situation. For some reason my hearing is not very good then and my cooperation is even worse.
6. Don't correct me in front of others, if you can help it.
7. Don't make me feel that my mistakes are sins. It upsets my sense of values. We all make mistakes. Help me learn from my mistakes, not suffer because of them.
8. Don't protect me from consequences. I need to learn the painful way sometimes.
9. Don't be too upset when I say "I hate you." It isn't you I hate but your power to thwart me and the fear that I have lost control of the situation. I do know that words and actions can hurt more than physical abuse. We need to both try harder.
10. Don't take too much notice of my whines and complaints. Sometimes they get me the attention that I need, but you and I both know I'd be better off getting attention in a "healthier" way.
11. Don't ignore bad habits. They are danger signs that you and I have a problem.
12. Don't nag. If you do I will have to protect myself by appearing deaf.
13. Don't forget that I can not explain myself as well as I should like. This is why I am not always accurate. Many times I do things that I am not sure why I did it. They were not to hurt you-- or myself. I really did not know why.
14. Don't put me off when I ask questions. If you do, you will find that I stop asking questions of you and will seek information elsewhere.
15. Don't be inconsistent. That completely confuses me and makes me lose faith in you.
16. Don't tell me my fears are silly. They are terrible and real and you can do much to reassure me that you understand.
17. Don't ever suggest that you are perfect or infallible. It gives me too great a shock when I discover that you are neither. No one is perfect, nor always right or wrong. That's okay.
18. Help me grow to know the difference between right and wrong.
19. Don't ever think that it is beneath your dignity to apologize to me. An honest apology makes me feel surprisingly warm towards you.
20. Don't use force with me. I respond more rapidly to being led than to force or to ultimatums.
21. Don't forget how quickly I am growing up. It must be very difficult for you to keep pace with me, but please do try. Help me grow.
22. Don't forget that I don't thrive without lots of love and understanding. Love is not smothering, but providing examples.
23. Don't make promises you cannot keep. Remember that I feel badly when promises are broken.
24. I am sorry for the words I spoke and the promises I made that I could not keep.
25. I am sorry for all the things I meant to do and I did not; for the things I tried to do and did not succeed in doing.