You have heard the saying “Like father like son.” Often we can see the physical resemblence between fathers and their sons. But we can also see it in their behavior. This is also true of mothers and daughters. A child’s behavior often can be traced to the things they experience and learn from their parents. As adults, we say that we don’t want to be like our parents in certain ways. But hen the pressure is on, we default to that learned behavior unless we have intensionally taught ourselves other alternatives. The power of parental modeling is incrediably strong. What are your chilren learning from you?
The book, Parenting From the Heights, by Anne Wiggins & Linda Williams is full of practical, common sense parenting tools. You will appreciate the many real life examples that are given. The authors are not only parents, but also teach parenting classes. They have helped many parents find simple techniques that change pouting, crying children into compliant,happy ones. We highly recommend this Christian approach. Good parenting will always be work. But work done with the right tools is always more effective.
In her book the Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Amy Chua describes the Chinese parenting as revolving around total respect for parents, heavy on math and language drills and hours of music lessons (piano or violin). Children are given very few choices and lots of verbal abuse when they “screw up.” Chua thinks that Western approaches to parenting are overly concerned with a child’s self -esteem. She raised 2 daughters with this method. One did well, the other rebelled at age 13. In the end, Chua had to moderate her approach with more freedom and more choices.
There is no one size fits all parenting style. But we do know that all children need encouragement, love and opportunities to excel. Self-esteem is important. It comes not just from how we achieve but hopefully from people who love us for who we are.
Have you ever noticed how much children look like their parents? In fact, a father gets a proud look when someone says, “Your son looks just like you.” What we often forget is that our children imitate us in other ways than our looks. Watch for the way they repeat phrases that we use. Sometimes we think this is really cute and it is. But other times we are embarrassed because the language that our children repeat is used inappropriately. Remember that our children are imitating us — both our good behaviors and those that need improving. What do you want your children to learn from you today?
You may have seen the video of the Alaska women who poured hot sauce down the throught of her adopted child and then placed him in a cold shower in order to control him. She said she just did not know what to do to control the child.
We are in trouble if our main goal is controlling our children. What we need to do is train them and develop their character. If this is our goal our methods will be much different. We will use methods that help our children chose to do the right thing. We will have clear boundaries and consistently teach the child to stay within them. Character development rather than control should be our goal.
Have you ever felt like you were happy just to make it through the day? Sometimes we get so tied up in the duties of the day that we forget what we are trying to accomplish. As parents, we are always influencing the development of our children in positive or negative ways. Our children are becoming people with certain character traits, values, interests and desires. A good question to ask ourselves is, “What did I do today to encourage the kind of character development and values that I want in my children?” There are lots of practical ways to do this that don’t take a lot of time. In this blog we will share some of these ways.
If you want immediate help, attend a Practical Positive Parenting Workshop. Check out the schedule at AKChristianMin.org or call 907-272-8760.
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