Our inability to parent well is due to the fact that no one taught us how. The victim of bad modeling, we lack information about what to do. And though we can be loving when we are clear, when emotions are surging, we act in less than constructive ways. We produce feelings of separation, isolation, frustration, and helplessness.
There is all sorts of conflicting information, from Tiger-Mom to Totally-Permissive-Parent to television experts touting the best parenting strategies. We end up confused and ineffective and fall back on what was modeled in our own world. On an individual level, the price we pay is unhappy family members, each trying to cope with dysfunction, inconsistencies, and injustices. Our families suffer with a lack of harmony and teamwork. In the societal realm, we’re instilling values that are questionable and behaviors that are unacceptable and dangerous.
We’ve created a “you vs me” mentality rather than a loving, safe, and nurturing environment.
A New Approach to Better Parenting
There is a solution: every parent needs to take personal responsibility and do their part, which means read and put into practice the simple principles laid out in Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life. Here are just a few simple guidelines:
- Handle your emotions physically and constructively. That means every house, apartment and school needs a place where crying, stomping, and shivering can be done safely.
- Accept your children. We’re all born with a wide range of personalities. There is no rigid standard each child should conform to. That means no shame, no blame, no unkind labels.
- Give plenty of praise and appreciation.
- Create a regular time for each family member to be listened to and understood.
- When differences arise, work together for solutions.
- Be consistent with establishing and following through with reasonable consequences when specific and clear boundaries are crossed.
- Get outside help and support if you’ve done what is best and specific problems still persist.
Successfully Dealing with Parenting Issues
These guidelines sound simple but our old ways are strong. Practice over and over and you will see positive results. And what’s the benefit of being a better parent? You experience less tension and frustration and more cooperation and satisfaction. Every family member can learn to be more assertive yet loving, more trusting rather than hiding, and feel proactive rather than reactive in the heat of sadness, anger, and fear. You’ll establish greater communication and understanding, and increase feelings of connection and love. That’s when all can reach their full potential and have fun. A peaceful life for everyone is the essence of Attitude Reconstruction.