Loving Parenting


The words “I’ve tried everything”, “I’m running out of patience”, “They just won’t listen” and “It’s “easy for you to be calm, you don’t live with them”, are statements I hear frequently. The frustration and inadequacy we experience when our children continually misbehave affects all of us; in fact, it affects the entire family. In previous articles, I’ve touched upon various concepts that impact our effectiveness as parents, and suggest a less emotional and more reflective problem-solving approach to our children. While the techniques of parenting are available in a number of books and articles, the feeling that underlies parental effectiveness is a more personal journey. All parent models require that our inner feelings and thought process coordinate with the techniques we employ. Inner anger and uncertainty with external calm and control, while better than emotionality and inconsistency, will eventually erode our effectiveness. Developing belief and confidence in what we’re doing requires practice, commitment, and consistency. The attitude to parenting I’m trying to describe might be best understood by examining how we parent or manage children who are not our own. In a strange way, most of us are significantly more effective with children who we don’t love and who don’t love us. The integration of loving feelings with effective parenting is the key to success. Something worth thinking about.

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