PARENTING AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT

Ghosts of Parenting

We can sometimes react to our children as a result of our relationship with others in our life gran-mum-and-daughterfrom OUR PAST!  Have you ever said that you would never do or say to your child that was done to you?  Then, one day you hear yourself sounding just like one of your parents and doing the very thing you said you would never do.  Our experience inside our family was our first relationship.  We as children were busy taking notes even if we don’t remember.  It is pretty hard to escape repeating some of those things our parents did that we did not like.  Most parents do their best.  We take a driver’s test to get a license but no test required to be a parent.   Hopefully, we learn as we go along.  Some things we will do better or perhaps differently than our parents.  Other stuff,  “not so good” patterns and behaviors get repeated as well.  We are Human and we make mistakes.

Child abuse is something that is often repeated.  Those are ghosts that must be dealt with in order to stop the destructive behavior from being passed from one generation to another.  Realizing that we are repeating what was done to us is the VITAL step toward changing the behavior.  If we deny what we are doing is harmful, we are doomed to repeat the cycle.

If you have done or said something that is reminds you of something “icky” in your childhood: tell them that you did/said something that reminded you of what your parents did to you. And most importantly, it was not kind or loving and you didn’t like it.   Then apologize…but make sure that apology sticks.  Both you and your children may need support and help in assisting you with ‘The Ghosts’.

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The Secret Sauce Of Parenting!

Every child needs experience to develop self-reliance.  Self-reliance is perhaps one of the most Authoritative-parentingvital components of a healthy, well-functioning adult.  Discipline that is democratic, gives the child the opportunity to practice his or her self-reliance.

Democratic discipline is the willingness to share power.  Frequently, parents confuse sharing power with giving it away, thus creating an over-permissive environment.  Democratic discipline means involving the entire family as soon as possible with the complex process of interacting with each other.   Young children can learn how to participate.  Leaning to express feelings and openly work on conflicts creates a household filled with caring and an emphasis on cooperation.  When a child feels his opinions, feelings, and thoughts are valued, he or she will feel loved.  When a human being feels loved AND valued he wants to cooperate; he or she is much more interested in negotiating conflicts and far more capable of being flexible.

Many adults enter into parenthood with a strong need for power since they have grown up under the restrictions of “tough” parents, teachers, and employers.   It is only natural that when a person becomes a parent (a position loaded with power), there may be a tendency to unilaterally call the shots.  It is easy to parent the SAME as or OPPOSITE from what we knew.  Copying or being polar opposite is not the answer.  Finding your own style and creating a balance of love that exhibits strength, kind leadership, and true compassion is the “Secret Sauce” of Parenting.

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Being AN Unpopular Parent (Occasionally)!

controlling-mom-1200x800Can you tolerate being an “unpopular” parent at times?  Too frequently in this day and age of psychological awareness parents, want their kids to understand their reasoning for a decision, not be upset by it.  Some moms and dads worry about being seen as “Cool”.  Some parents get really nervous if their children are upset with them.  They actually feel worried that they are “mean” and their child will not love them.  The very nature of parenting is that the parents are the grown-ups and our children are still children.  Although kids deserve respect and love unconditionally, they do not and should not be expected to understand our parental motives and reasoning.  We are helping them by modeling boundaries and limits. Therefore, almost daily we are going to make decisions that our children do not like.  The only way to avoid ‘waves’ is making NO differing decisions and allowing your child to rule the roost.  You may avoid being unpopular NOW, but you will also have bigger headaches ahead.  Children would much rather feel guided by bumping up against the “No’s”, than no parenting at all.  Kids without parenting are akin to a runaway train. Especially during the teen years, when parents become unpopular for longer stretches of time, we must remember, that this is part of healthy parenting and in time, this too shall pass.  It is actually their job to feel annoyed at us.  It helps them separate and prepare for the world at large. We, as good parents base our decisions on long-term goals and the overall welfare of the child.  It takes COURAGE to be a Good Parent!  We teach very important LIFE lessons: Life is Complicated, Life is not FAIR, and Sometimes, things do NOT go our way.  Not easy for any of us….big or small!

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