Showing Up

Allowing our kids to participate in sports is not enough for them.  In order for them to really be good at what they are doing, they want and need the support of their parents in a personal way.  When parents show an interest in what their kid is doing, this inspires the child to excel.  Going to their swim meets, basketball and/or football games or to whatever activity in which they participate really encourages a kid to do their best.

For some reason, a child really does want to please their parents, even though it probably does not look like it a lot of the time.  Of course, learning how to listen to a child can be a rough road for a parent.  I recall the time many years ago hearing the saying:  “A child should be seen and not heard.”  That sort of hung around for many years.  Today we know that it is important to listen to our kid.  That does not mean they get their own way; it just means that we hear what they say.  And, if a child knew enough to say it, they would say:  “Hey mom and dad, I really want you to come to my game.  It will make a big difference to me.”


Yeah for Me!

I recently donated several copies of my parenting book to a man who has a class for new dads.  He just called me yesterday and said he had a request from several local elementary schools – that they would like to have copies of my book, too.  Thank you Universe for this wonderful opportunity to get more copies of my book out into the world.  Marketing a book is the hardest thing I have ever done.  I am looking at this as a big beginning to get this book more noticed.

Parenting in Africa

I did do a little research regarding parenting in Africa.  It seems that one thing African parents do is give their children jobs to do around the house on a daily basis.  This certainly gives a child a sense of responsibility and a learning that there is no free ride. They also learn how to do daily living things and that they are of value.  This has to be good for their self-esteem.

Another theme and perhaps the main message is that it takes a village to raise a child.  If for some reason a child loses a parent or parents, other family members step up and take in the child.  Family members can also be counted upon to assist with child-rearing and or child-caring when such a need occurs.  The whole village cares for all of the children together whenever a need arises.  I recall growing up near my two cousins, aunt and uncle.  They were always there for us.  To this day I am still in touch with my cousins’ kids, even though my cousins have passed away.  How nice to have a family that is always in touch.  I think this feeling of family makes us feel not so alone in the world.

Interesting Conversation

I recently met an older woman who had spent time in Africa in the Peace Corps.  We got into a conversation about today’s kids here in America.  There are so many children in charge of their parents that it is truly amazing.  Benefits of the Permissive Parenting style I would assume.  It is such a shame that so many young parents think that love means no discipline.  Exactly the opposite it true.

Anyway, during this conversation, this woman told me that, in Africa, children sit quietly and listen to their parents and to what is going on around them.  She did not say why this is so.  Does anybody know?  I would be happy to hear how parenting works in Africa.  I know.  I will go online and see what I can find out about this.  Stay tuned for my next blog.  Maybe I will have some exciting news about parenting in Africa.

Positive Parenting Tip I

Learning how to parent in a positive way is not an easy thing to do when a person has been raised in a negative environment.  So many parents think the way to make a child mind is to yell at them and/or spank them.  If you got raised that way, now is the time to begin to turn around your child-raising ideas.  Being afraid is no way for a child to be raised.

One of the most interesting things I have learned about being a positive parent is to tell a child what to do; not what not to do.  A child does not hear the words “no” or “don’t” – they only hear the command.  Here is a good example:  “Don’t run, Johnny.”  What does Johnny hear?  He hears “run.”  So he keeps on running.  Ever notice how many times someone yells “don’t’ at their kid and the kid just keeps on doing whatever they were told not to do?  So…what does work?  Just say, “Walk, Johnny.”  If it seems the kid does not hear it, just say it again.  You will be surprised how giving a positive command vs. a negative command works.

Authoritative Parenting

This type of parenting is the most effective in raising a child to become a happy well-adjusted person.  Reasonable expectations of the parent are high yet tempered with understanding and support for the child.  The child knows what is expected of them and has consequences for behaviors which are not supported by the parent once the child knows what those expectations are.  Children push boundaries so they can find out what those boundaries are and if their parent is going to keep their word.  Pushing boundaries is part of the job of being a child.

A child needs to have a structured day, such as a planned bedtime and household rules which they understand and consequences for breaking them.  They need a healthy and open line of communication with their parents so they can speak about anything without fear of negative consequences or harsh judgement.  This type of parenting keeps a child honest and following the rules at the same time.

Consequences can be something as simple as sending a child to their room for a very short period of time (2 minutes is enough with an alarm set to ring when they can come out), after being told why they are being sent there for something they did that they had previously been told not to do.  This type of parenting creates a child who is not in control, like so many children are, and yet the control of the parent is gentle and not based on fear.

This type of parenting creates a healthy environment and assists in creating a loving and kind relationship between parents and child with the parent being the guiding light in charge and the child feeling loved.  One thing to remember is that children really do want to please their parents.  This happens when a child is told what to do, not what not to do, so they know what they are supposed to do and gladly follow the rules, learning that when they do not there are consequences.




Neglective Parenting

This type of parenting is one of the most harmful styles.  Ignoring a child, never participating in their life either at home or away from home, spending long periods of time away from home while leaving a child alone, making excuses for not being there for their child, not caring for the child’s emotional, physical or other needs, creates a child who has no trust foundation with which to explore the world and who has a very hard time forming relationships with others, particularly with children of their own age.

When someone is aware of this type of parenting, either the parent or someone who sees this type of parenting in another, the suggested ways of taking care of this type of situation is to become educated as to what a parent can do by talking to a family doctor or going to a therapist or counselor.

So many times this situation can be the result of two parents who work and are seldom home for their child or are too tired after working all day to be able to be there for their child.  One way this can be remedied is to include the child in whatever activities are taking place in the home.  Some examples are to watch TV together, clean house together, listen when a child is talking, giving affection with lots of hugs, letting the child know how special they are to the parents.  This list could go on and on.

This is where a parent has the opportunity to look inside themselves and see the creative parenting artist within them that exists within all of us.  All we have to do is wake up and be aware of it.  Parenting is the most important job in the world.

Permissive Parenting

Thinking that love means never setting any boundaries for a child, never giving any discipline, freedom without consequences for actions, never setting any rules is a mistaken definition of “love.”  Children have parents to guide them and correct them, set boundaries so they learn self-discipline and self-control and have a sense of security out of learning what works and what does not work for them as human beings.  Teens with permissive parents are three times more likely to engage in heavy underage alcohol consumption.

I think permissive parenting is what causes Attention Deficit Disorder in a child out of watching children who have never received any direction, get anything they want, are in charge of their parents and have no sense of structure in their lives.  They cannot pay attention because they have never been giving any direction and do not know how to focus on their lives.  They are running wild in the woods, so to speak, crying out for guidance.

The saying “spare the rod and spoil the child” does not mean children should be hit or beat.  The rod is the one used by the shepherd while guarding the flock.  The rod has a hook on one end.  When a sheep gets too close to the edge of the cliff, the shepherd places the hook around the sheep’s neck and gently guides it away from the edge.  So…what this saying means is guide your child, show your child what they are and what they are not supposed to do in order to have a successful life.  That is why children have parents – to guide them.

Discipline is a part of guidance.  There are ways to discipline a child that do not include hitting and beating them.  If a person wants to do right by their child, they can study about positive parenting and take a stand for being a good parent.  That is what love means.

Parenting Styles

I recently read an article which described four different parenting styles.  My last post was about the one entitled Authoritarian.  The other three styles were called Permissive, Uninvolved and Authoritative.  

The Authoritarian style was the one (as I mentioned) by which I was raised.  I have been studying the other three styles and would like to also address those after I have had more time to delve into them and learn more about the results of each style of parenting.

Over the years, there have been many books written about parenting.  Some have been said to be better than others.  I wonder who made those judgments.  I recall Dr. Spock was all the rage when I was first a parent.  He was more on the Permissive style of parenting.  His style was later found to be not too conducive to raising children who turn out to have self-discipline and self-control.

Stay tuned and I will return with my comments about Permissive Parenting.

Authoritarian Parenting

Want to raise your child to grow into a person unable to make good choices with poor self-esteem, anxiety and a high rate of depression?  All you have to do is totally control their behavior though constant direction and swift consequences regardless of the situation; negotiation and discussion are not to be tolerated.

This type of parenting makes me want to cry.  It is like a child is not a person who needs love and respect; it is just a thing to be lorded over without any regard for their feelings, their needs or given any understanding as to what or why they are doing what they do.  

Actually, this is the way I was raised.  It took years of self-examination, reading self-help books, taking awareness classes to realize that I have a right to be on this planet as much as anyone else.  Learning that I am a valuable person with a loving and funny disposition took many years.  Had I been raised in a loving and respectful manner, I would not have had to spend so much money, time and effort to be the kind person I am today.  

If my parenting had been such that I was spoken to in a gentle manner, sent to my room for discipline – not yelled at and spanked – after being told that my behavior was not acceptable and given the information as to what I had done that I should not do, I know that I would not have felt as if I did not count.  Being in communication with my parents instead of them always telling me what to do and expecting me to react immediately, would have made a huge difference in my life.

The good news is that I made it.  Many never do.  I think that is why there is so much misery on this planet today.