Are You Putting in the Parenting to Raise Awesome Kids?
Parenting is hard. – Captain “Rusty” Obvious
There’s irony in the saying, “Parenting doesn’t come with a manual.” When in actuality, there are around a gazillion different books out there on parenting. Okay, maybe not a gazillion. It may only be about a bajillion; give or take a baker’s dozen.
With all the information available, why haven’t we perfected parenting at this point?!? Could it be so many of the books contradict themselves? Could it be every method is not meant for every child? Could it be every child is different? The answer to this quiz: Not sure. Yes. Probably. And definitely yes.
There you go. The answers to the questions. Now go and raise amazing children!
What? Not enough?
Let’s try a few little nuggets I’ve learned along the way. But before we start, let’s just agree to disagree about some things. That’s the beauty of parenting and individuality; parents and children. Second, I’m not saying this has never happened to me. After all, I’ve had my “moments” as a parent as well. Third, I can’t remember what the third thing was, something about spending their college fund on my retirement cruise (disregard).
Don’t Threaten With Unrealistic Results
“I will knock your head off if you do that again.”
“Put that down or I’ll smack you with it.”
“I’m just going to leave you here then” (quick-stop or store).
These responses are just unrealistic; at least I hope they are.
Can we be brutally honest? Of course we can. These type of comments are lazy and an overemotional response to your child’s behavior. That’s it.
Lazy – it takes some work to come up with valid responses and consequences for a child’s bad behavior. Coming up with a consequence that doesn’t impinge on us is near impossible. A true consequence will take some investment on our part. Especially when it comes time to apply a “learning” portion to the consequence.
Overemotional Response – This is just plain difficult. Dealing with bad behavior—especially repetitive behavior—is frustrating and can trigger pretty excitable responses. There’s a difference between rational consequences and irrational threats. One benefits you and your child, the other is just a numbing threat looks bad on you and can have a number of results with your child.
What to do?
Take the time to think of consequences ahead of time.
Determine what realistic activities will curb the behavior and provide a realistic and applicable response. It’s important to make sure that the consequence matches the degree of the initial behavior.
Be willing to engage in the consequence. Be willing to get up and invest in the process of getting from the child’s behavior to your educating them as to “why” this behavior is not acceptable.
This one is for me: Be willing to apologize if you overreact. No one wants to be wrong. Apologizing can be uncomfortable. But there’s a lesson in that for both the parent and the child. The parent is taking responsibility for their own action and teaching their child through example this important trait.
Follow through with the consequence. If you don’t follow through, then the next bad behavior is on you. If you don’t follow through you are telling your child that their behavior is not big deal, or at least not enough of a big deal to have a consequence. Trust me, the unchecked behavior will repeat itself.
There It Is
Now go and parent like a rockstar. Wait, not like a rockstar. Go and parent like your life depends on it! Their lives do!
And thank you for making our community a better place by raising AWESOME kids!
Also published on Medium.