We all know that the most challenging, or one of the most challenging things, can be raising children. In todays times, you will more than likely also get a chance to raise someone else children as well. They say it takes a village, but what village? We have found that this does not have to be as complicated, but the task is still a daunting one. When you un-complicate things, the truth becomes easy to see. How to make parenting simple, easy, just ask the children, and yourselves the following things:
- Am I Self Confident?
- Am I an Angry Person?
- Do I yell at others in anger?
- Do I strike others in Anger?
- Do I pass Guilt onto Others?
- Do I use Fear or Shame as a Motivational Aid?
If you notice, these questions are about YOU, the parent, not your children. Lets hope and assume you are asking yourself these questions, BEFORE you bring children into the mix. Do not be offended, or feel guilt if you answer YES to anything here. Most people do. The society we have cultivated believes that power, oppression, and violence is an acceptable form of behavior management. Not only in our children, but the world around us. How can we fault ourselves for following the example that was imprinted onto our by the caregivers we had?
So, if you answered yes, ask yourself why. Then write it down, including three reasons and at least three sentences supporting each reason why you answered the way you did. This self examination, if honest will truly open your eyes to something most of us go great lengths to avoid, ourselves. When you realize, your children deserved to be treated better than, if not equal to the world around you. If you would not strike another person, human being for being rude, why would you hit your child? If yelling at you, as a child, only serves to make the person yelling feel better, why would we yell at our children? When ddi yelling or shaming a child ever do anything more than make the person dishing int out, feel better?
After completing the above exercise, ask yourself these questions, and be honest:
- Did I receive praise and kindness regularly?
- Did I feel safe from pain, shame or guilt?
- Did people make me feel special and accepted without condition?
These are perhaps the more difficult questions to answer, and you should be careful. True examination of these topics are personal, and far reaching. Now when you determine what the answers are, you can move forward. Instead of focusing on the laundry list of negative things that DID happen to us, we try to focus on things that did NOT occur. Praise, safety, self confidence, and worth. If we can now provide these things, not only to ourself first, but t our family, we are far ahead.
In our personal experience, we have a six year old daughter, who for all purposes, is a challenge. We for several years would try the routine of yelling, grounding, even a spanking or two run there. Always coming to frustration. The more frustrated we became, the more we would yell and repeat the behaviors of the parents we had. We never know this till we all started communicating. I, would never do these things, however there are parts fo us that would. It is complicated.
Now that we are living, across the system, pretty much negativity free, we are really starting to see a dramatic change in our daughter. We had to change our behavior, as did the rest of the household too. We eliminated yelling first, punitive actions second, and now were working on always being positive. We shower her with praise and affection, always letting her know how awesome she is. That is where you find a trap, that most people fall into. Keep things positive. When you use words like BUT, in a sentence, you have negated all the positive you just put out there. Leave things positive. Cuddle; Physical affection for no reason other than affection, is one of the most important things a child can have. Your loved. PERIOD. If you need to correct behavior, this will blow your mind, BE NICE! YES! strange concept?, I think not. In the adult world, when we really want something, were nice. We schmooze, we Kidd ass, right? Why not try just being nice and polite to your kid? Respect them, the way you would respect any other person. WOW, the results have been amazing.
You are not a weak parent of respecting the wishes of a five year old, or any child for that matter. If we truly want our children to exceed the parents, then you have to give them what we the parents, or caregivers, did not have. Treat your children better, not worse, that you would treat a stranger. Do our job, and not only keep them safe on our perspective, but make them FEEL safe, from their perspective. We always as a society, talk about how much we want to protect our children. We have these big fundraisers, and events to celebrate the great things we do for our children, ye the h statistics tell another story. Were failing our children. our children are becoming lost in a world where their hearts and minds are filled with fears. How could we ever feel safe anywhere now.
If a child, now more than ever, does not get positive reinforcement, respect, freedom to choose, and safety, from the first day of life, they will know. There mind and body will keep score, even if they cannot. Their fears will become the driving forces in their character development. They will become another generation, looking to solve their problems, with fear mongering, aggression, shame, and violence. Never understating why. Projecting this fears, and misconceptions onto their offspring. These effects now magnified. We have to take a stand, do something different! The time to save our children, society, our future, is now. If we use logic, we can see, doing the same thing is NOT helping anything, things are, progessively worse.