By nature, we Americans are impatient. The only evidence you need is to drive in busy traffic or stand in line at a grocery store. We also like things to come easy, like losing weight by taking a pill and NO exercise!
Wouldn’t it be great to have a parenting pill at our disposal? Some media offers I’ve heard remind me of this: “Stop your child’s behavioral problems TODAY with ___________.” I’ve also learned that some childhood experts don’t even have kids of their own. That’s like the person who said, “I thought I knew a lot about the Bible until I met someone who read it.”
Let’s keep some things in mind:
• Your child is not a problem. They may be challenging but I think we do kids a disservice by calling them problems.
• Parenting is not easy but it should be fun. “But you don’t know my kid! This is not fun.” Learning some good tools will help you work smarter, not harder, as a parent.
• One of the most important words in parenting is RESPECT. You want your kids to respect you but it is a two-way street; your kids want you to respect them. That doesn’t happen when we become dictators who rule with an iron fist. Your kids need to feel that they have some control over their lives. As you share control the end result is respect.
There are plenty of seminars you can take to help you with parenting. There are some I would not recommend. Rather than focus on those, I will share with you two that I know something about:
•“Becoming a Love & Logic Parent.” I have been a facilitator for this curriculum for several years. Love allows the children to grow through their mistakes and Logic allows them to live with the consequences of those choices. This gives the child ownership of their problems rather than the parent owning everything. I had a “Love & Logic” table set up at a parenting fair. One of the workers came by and said, “Love and Logic? That saved my life!” That’s a pretty good advertisement. I invite you to check out this flyer for more information.
• There is another course called “Active Parenting.” I believe this program shares the same basic philosophy of Love & Logic. It is presented a little differently but the same positive message about parenting comes across. Both help children train to live in the real world.
I have found parent encouragement groups to be beneficial. Parents meet regularly to discuss parenting and encouragement. My goal is to facilitate a monthly group of parents who have taken my Love & Logic class. If you live in the Portland, Oregon area you might find this helpful. Parents helping parents is probably the best teaching tool. Please contact me if you would like to take the class that is followed up by the monthly parent group.
You’ve probably heard or even used this quote: “Insanity is inherited; I got mine from my kids!” I hope your kids can say, “Fun is contagious; I got mine from my parents!” Learn some good parenting tools, have fun as a parent, and enjoy your life. That is a great example for your kids.
Next time: Communication Tools…Is It Time To Update?