Raising children to be that ideal kind and well-rounded person can be one of the most challenging but rewarding things in life. Oh, but does it feel rewarding when you get that first, “No”, that continuous, “I don’t want to”, or “Why do I have to?” What about that blatant disregard when your instruction is ignored? You’re pissed off because you have racing thoughts of all the things you have sacrificed, risked, eliminated, finagled, etc…. These kids have some nerve! Why can’t he/she just do what I tell them to do? The truth is they don’t listen because this is no longer the Do as I say, not as I do era.
Too many times you ask a child to do something that you wouldn’t even do. Or, you ask, based on the mere fact you are the parent. Monkey see monkey do. Children are very observant, and they react based on what they see and hear. If they don’t see you modeling effective communication, why would they want to do so with you? If they don’t see you being responsible, why would they want to be? If they don’t see you making sound or logical decisions, why should they?
Modeling is a very important concept in parenting. This simply means you should display the appropriate behaviors you expect from your child. You are your child’s biggest role model. The more positive behaviors you model, the better the results. Speaking in a respectful manner, appropriately spending money, walking in love (i.e. being patient, kind, giving), providing emotional support, spending quality time, etc. are components to help create a nourishing environment fostering healthy child development.
Speaking of environment. As the year 2017 is here, it is the era of social media, iPhones, iPads, superficiality, freedom of speech (x30), fashion, anime, raunchy lyrics, and video recordings. The more children have this extrinsic connection, the harder it is for you, as a parent, to help develop that intrinsic value. In this technological age, you may have some locus of control. However, it is your parenting style that matters.
Your parenting style might make or break how your child responds to you at home. Studies have shown there is a relationship between parenting and the impact it has on the child’s development. Let’s briefly look at the four styles:
- Permissive- This style reflects a lenient parent who lacks structure in the home. This is the child’s “friend,” instead of parent. May cause a child to have a lack of boundaries and difficulties with authority.
- Neglectful- This style reflects the parent who is not attentive to any of the child’s needs (i.e. basic-food/shelter/clothing, emotional, educational). Not present in the home or involved in child’s daily activities. May cause a child to have emotional issues, due to feelings of rejection or abandonment. This can later produce difficulties in maintaining healthy relationships. This style of parenting can be harmful in many ways, but there are resources and help that is available for the child and parent (i.e counseling, parenting classes, child protective services).
- Authoritarian- This is the harsh and demanding parent who establishes unrealistic expectations and stringent rules. This may cause a child to act out and/or develop low self-esteem, due to feelings of inadequacy.
- Authoritative- This style is the most beneficial and effective way to parent. This is the parent who is assertive and sets realistic expectations for the child. There is room for mistakes with this parent. Discipline is in place, but in a supportive and nurturing manner. This may cause a child to feel open to communicate with the parent, and understand and respect set expectations, without judgment.
Looking at these styles, there needs to be an initial process of self-reflection in order to produce change. If you want to learn more about these parenting styles, feel free to visit the following websites:
If you need assistance with parenting, feel free to contact me. I would be glad to help educate and develop tools to help your kid listen to you.