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Forefront families by Sally Burgess;Why Isn't Our Parenting Working?; www.forefrontfamilies.org

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It is discouraging sometimes when we see other families apparently doing better than ours. The kids in those families appear to behave and everyone looks happy all the time. What is their secret? Here are just a few scenarios and suggestions as to what could be amiss along with some suggestions how it might be rectified.

           When we think other families are angelic while ours is chaotic, what do we do? The first thing I would ask them is how do they do it? They may say, “Oh, you don’t know what goes on inside our home!” It is true that most of us wear inside and outside faces, but if kids are being respectful, obedient and kind to one another you can bet there is a fundamental nugget of truth that would be of great benefit to your family. We believe that successful families are God-centered, parent-directed, family-oriented and outwardly focused. They have clear family values that are evident in the manner in which they act and communicate with each other.

When you and your spouse or partner disagree with parts of your parenting methods, the kids see it and play you off against each other, trying to find the weakest link! What do you do about that? The first thing to do is to find some common ground…any common ground upon which to build a new foundation. Start with creating family values and putting them in priority order to start. Teach your kids the ones you both find important. As soon as you present a united front to your kids, they will start falling into line and respecting you. The things you can’t agree on, you may need to get advice for e.g. “I want to give my kids everything they want because I had nothing when I was a kid!” Talk through the consequences of that kind of indulgence. When they have everything, they think money grows on trees and keep asking for more stuff. When they have lots of stuff they tend not to value it and often don’t look after it. They have an unrealistic view of life, thinking everything will fall into their laps just because they ‘want it’. That will only bring them disappointment as they find the world does not jump to their every whim. If you talk through the scenarios of disagreement without being accusatory, the other person will see the sense in what is being said and change.

I wonder how many parents get caught up in the myth that if they work long hours every day they will be doing the right thing in providing for their families? Yes, we do have the responsibility to keep our families safe and secure from harm, keeping them fed and clothed and providing the means to give them a great education. Absolutely correct! However, we need to balance all of that with what kids MOST want from us …not to watch our backs walk out the door in the early morning and stagger in at 6 p.m. or later, completely worn out. They want and need your love and your time.

           Sometimes we try very hard to please our kids because we want them to like us. We want them to be our friend. WRONG THOUGHT! Kids don’t want another big kid as a friend. They want you to be the parent, the leader, to tell them what to do, to guide and correct them when they do the wrong thing, and to say NO when appropriate. You can’t be a parent and a friend at the same time, that is, not until your kids are working and responsible. Kids want you to be their role model, their hero, not their peer. They want to respect you and for you to respect them.

            Praise works wonders. Kids desperately want your approval. They want to feel valued. If you constantly pick on all the things they do wrong, they will be discouraged and think they can do nothing right, that nothing they do will ever be good enough. This alters their perspective for their whole lives. It is crippling. They need to know you want to see them do THEIR best and not necessarily BE THE best. When parents compare one child with another, this can also be crippling. One child should not be favored more than another.

Each person has his own footprint, his own skills and talents. That’s the way God planned it. That is not to say we should just let a child follow his heart, if it’s not going to support a reasonable life in later years. Some interests may need to be hobbies until your child can find a vocation that will support their real passion. There is nothing more exciting than being able to work profitably using your passion.

            If you have any comments or suggestions on this subject, please do not hesitate to contact us at sally@forefrontfamilies.org. Also check out our website at www.forefrontfamilies.org and our blogsite at www.forefrontfamillies.blogspot.com









             Kids don’t want you to be their friend. They want you to lead, to teach them how

             to act and to be their role model.


   We thought that if we said 'No' to our child they would not like us.


             Kids want boundaries. They may appear not to, but boundaries give them security

             because they know you care.


   We used our own parents’ model for parenting, not realizing there was any other way.


             If you thought your parents gave you the love guidance and discipline, and you are getting

             excellent feedback from others, then that modeling is fine. However, if you are not getting

             the desired results, you need to get help and training so that you can model and teach more


   We never made our core family values clear to our kids or maybe hadn't even clarified


             them in our own minds.


             It is vital to harmonious, effective parenting to create a list of principles or values you want

             your family to live by and be known for. Now teach these values.


   We were never told that it was our job to shape our kids to become extraordinary adults.


             We thought it was the school’s job!


             It is the parents’ job to train their children to become productive, respectful, responsible

             and trustworthy adults, who will themselves become great parents.


   We became a family that was inward looking and somewhat selfish rather than outward


             looking and selfless.


             We believe that successful families are parent directed, family oriented and outwardly

             focused. This means that we choose to make a positive difference to those in the community

             around us.


   We thought we were admitting failure if we asked for advice.


             Since kids don’t come with manuals, every new parent is facing their role for the first time,

             with little or no training. It is, therefore, extremely wise for all parents to seek ongoing

             information and training on how to best manage their families. If not, it is possible to fail.


   We were slow in getting support for a disability or disorder our child was born with or


             developed and they missed out on valuable years of expertise that could have changed


             the situation.


             There is a great deal of support and help offered to parents of disabled children. We can

             only encourage these parents to get all the help they can get for the whole family’s sake.


   We now see that our thoughts and goals were more on ourselves than on what was best


             for our kids.


             Once this realization has occurred, it is important to seek help as soon as possible from

             parenting agencies.


   One (or more) of our children was born with a strong will or some disorder that shattered


             our dreams of 'how it might have been'.


             Many families find they have children with either a strong will, ADHD, autism or some

             other behavioral challenge. Fortunately, there is a great deal of help through schools,

             community agencies, and programming to help these children lead and fit into normal life.



What others think...


   There's almost no encouragement along the way or people to give us a 'Hurrah!'


           when we do things right.


   People can be so negative and snide, making us feel discouraged and think


           we must be doing something wrong.


   Our own parents don't always agree with how we are raising their grandkids!


   There's so many 'parenting experts' out there. We thought they must know


           what they are talking about, but their methods were counter-productive.


   Unlike obtaining a driver's license, there's no training and no test to determine


           whether we are fit to be a parent.


             It is very important to encourage parents when we see they are doing a great job with

             their kids. We need to avoid criticism, but rather offer objective help or resources.


'Kids don't come with manuals'. Now isn't that strange? That's the name of a book I wrote and is available from our website. Why don't you buy it today? 'It's never too late!' We have a free e-booklet available with that title on the website, too. Buy a book, get an e-booklet free!




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