GOOD PARENTS FRUSTRATE THEIR KIDS
As parents we often play the role of rescuer. Our anxiety grows when our child fails, feel bad, or is unhappy. When there is frustration, hurt, or sadness we tend to rush in and rescue and fix. At times this is truly legitimate, we are the parents. However, when we rescue or fix too much we do a serious disservice. Dealing with frustration, disappointment, hurt feelings, and failures is an intensely human and necessary process. We want our children to learn to be successful working through small frustrations, disappointments and sadness in order that they can work through big distresses which may come later in life. Allow your children small frustrations they can handle. As your child learns to deal with small manageable frustrations, it teaches her a deep emotional process that will serve her well when she experiences bigger frustrations.
GOOD PARENTS SAY “NO”
Research suggest that if a child asks 9 times he will, in fact, get his way. The average kid nags 9 times to get a product his parents refuse to purchase; about half the parents finally give in. Learn to say “no” without guilt. If you cannot say “no” to your child, he may never learn to say “no” to himself. Saying “no” also conveys the message that he is not the “centre of the universe.” Saying “no” includes an explanation, but does not need to include a debate. Do not teach your children the 9 times rule by giving in when they act out. Saying “no” allows children to learn to wait and delay gratification by putting put off until later. This is an important way to grow self control.
GOOD PARENTS HAVE NO RULES
Rules are set and followed regardless of child or circumstance. Rules are faithfully enforced, such as “You cannot go out on a weeknight,” or “You must be home by 10:00 on Saturdays.”
Good parents set boundaries. Boundaries are limits established to meet needs; needs of children, needs of parents and the needs of the family as a whole. Boundaries are flexible, negotiable, and changeable with circumstance, age, and with each child. Boundaries are set within the context of conversation. They include reasons and are reasonable. A comparable boundary would be “We need you home by 10:00. If you need to be out later, we will discuss it together and decide if it will work.”
GOOD PARENTS TAKE CARE OF THE PARENT BOND
Parents are a team like no other. The stability and security of the parenting bond is directly related to the felt security of children. Nurturing the “couple” bond is healthy for your children. Yes, you can go to dinner or take a holiday without them. Your children feel secure when they know that Mom is the most respected person in Dad’s life and visa versa. Good parents put their relationship first.
GOOD PARENTS ATTUNE TO THEIR KIDS
Modern life is so frenetic that at times life, social and extra activities take over, and we become disconnected emotionally. Attuning to your kids is about interest in their day, offering a warmth and nurture, having daily meaningful conversations, finding time to be close, looking into their eyes, physically hugging or touching.
Slow life down, go for a walk with your son, take you daughter out for hot chocolate (without her siblings), find time to make the connection.
GOOD PARENTS CREATE A FAMILY TEAM
The family as a team, a cohesive unit, with the sense we are in this together. Here are a few ways to build your family team spirit!
FFF (family fun factor); Having times which are just for fun. Go bowling, go for a hike, have a games night.
Family Dinners: Make family dinners a priority. As noted by Musick and Meier, the routine of family meals can generate feelings of closeness and comfort. Even when mealtimes feel hectic or disorganized, take comfort in the fact that the simple act of regular mealtimes may be providing your child with stability. In addition your child may be 35% less likely to engage in disordered eating, 24% more likely to eat healthier foods and 12% less likely to be overweight (Hammons & Fiese, 2011). All three of these statistics are attached to one family ritual—shared mealtimes
Family Only: Creating the team through “family only” times (this means no friends invited). It is important to build your team, generate connections between siblings. Friends can be welcome at other times, but not during team building events.
GOOD PARENTS RAISE KIDS FOR CHARACTER AND NOT FOR SUCCESS
Parents who were intentional about raising kids who turned out to be caring, respectful and unselfish took the time to think through how they wanted their kids to turn out. Their focus is not solely on successes in school, sports, or future, but on building character and well being. Good parents have a parenting plan.