A parent’s role is to guide with love, respect, firmness, and consistency. The most effective teaching, guiding strategy is your modeling. Words are empty if they are not congruent with the actions. Behaviors can be reinforced both positively or negatively. The more you ignore correct behavior the more you should expect future negative behavior as that will certainly evoke a reaction.
You are here to teach them about self-worth, self-confidence, love, respect, kindness, citizenship, responsibility, commitment and many more character building values. Your words will mean nothing if your actions are not congruent with your words. Actions and being a role model speak much louder than words. Children do as they see more than what they hear.
Children need boundaries, they need limits. Children need structure, consistency. They need to learn rules and how to follow them. Children need to learn that behavior have consequences and that can only be learned with boundaries. Parents cannot set boundaries when they are being friends. That is a breach of boundaries. Friends are equals. Parents are not equal to their children. Parents are older, more experienced, hopefully wiser and more mature. They are there to love, protect, guide and provide and support.
A parent’s role is to guide with love, respect, firmness and consistency. The most effective teaching, guiding stragedy is your modeling. Words are empty if they are not congruent with the actions. Behaviors can be reinforced both positively or negatively. The more you ignore correct behavior the more you should expect future negative behavior as that will certainly evoke a reaction. All positive behavior should be reinforced with your attention, your love, your words of praise and encouragement your support and attentive listening and empathy.
How do you correct negative behavior? Do not reinforce it. Correct at times by planned ignoring, at others communicate what the consequence will be and if not stopped follow thru with the consequence stated, consistently, firmly and predictably. If you are a best friend this cannot happen appropriately.
If a child’s negative behavior is not corrected, the negative behavior will be reinforced. Correct at times by planned ignoring, at others communicate what the consequence will be and if behavior is not stopped follow thru with the consequence stated consistently, firmly and predictably. If you are a best friend this cannot happen appropriately. This requires love and respect not friendship there is a difference.
Love your children, respect them, provide a home of love and respect. Be consistent, understand thier needs, allow them to express themselves appropriately. Be empathetic, supportive but with clear boundaries and communication. This is the beginning of the development of a well-being individual into a healthy and safe, social, self- confident, trusting, loving, respectful, responsible human being. Your role with your children is much more challenging than being a friend. You are a leader, a guide, a mentor, and yes, an authority, one that provides with love, respect and empathy. Rules are what keep us safe, what contains our impulses. If we want a safe society, one that provides others with kindness, love and understanding we must start within the home. Consistency, firmness, structure, predictability with consequences are necessary.
Parenthood is a challenge, we must conquer our own demons, our own deficiencies. We need to break old patterns that did not serve us for our best development. This takes self-awareness, consciousness, self-respect, and self -love. It takes humility to recognize that we sometimes have to start by reparenting ourselves first. Sometimes life does not happen so ideally, and there is no manual to teach us how to parent. But we can get help and there is plenty of ways to look and find that help. Have the humbleness to look for it for you, for your children and for society.
Best wishes and hopes for your best efforts to Parenthood. The most significant effort is to do the best you possibly can but be honest about it when doing your best. You are not perfect, and it is not about being perfect, it is about trying to be the best that you can be to that beautiful being that you have brought into world providing the breathe of life. A gift we should all treasure.
With much respect and love,
Madeleine Maya, MA, Psy.D. BHT