Through both sad and happy experience, I have learned the following things with regards to being a parent.
Parenting methods that do not work:
- Scare tactics
- Soap in the mouth
- General pain
- Endless lecturing
There are those that argue that these methods do work. Granted, they do get reactions and are sometimes effective temporarily. However, the side effects of using these methods are negative and usually undesirable for the parents as well as the children. These methods are usually easier and quicker and come more naturally. As we know, nature is not always the best way. Animals live in nature. Our children deserve parents that are not animals. Parents who use and endorse these methods are little more than children themselves as is self evident in the actions taken which when compared to actions of children are very similar.
Parenting methods that do work:
- Really listening to what your child says verbally and through body language
- Putting yourself on their level, physically
- A kind voice, with perhaps a touch of sternness when necessary
- Gentle touches, with perhaps a bit of firmness when necessary
- Concise statements of fact and direction
These methods do work better and have much more desirable long term results and positive side-effects. The major drawback to these methods is that they require parents to actually grow up. To effectively employ these methods, parents must learn how to control their emotions, as well as their bodies.
The key difference in the methods that work and do not work is the person that you are concerned with.
When you are concerned about yourself, your time, your schedule, your plans, your happiness, your stuff, your live, what others think of you, this is when you are more apt to revert to being childish and use method that do not work. Children throw tantrums. Childish adults who have not grown up in this aspect of their life also throw tantrums.
When you are more concerned about the emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical well-being of your child, you are more apt to employ methods that do work. You show that you are truly “grown up” in this aspect of your life when you are able to handle parenting situations calmly and with full control of yourself.
To put it more succinctly, the main difference between what works and what does not, is love and who the target of that love is. Selfishness versus selflessness.
Please feel free to share your own parenting wisdom in the comments section.