The Toughest of Jobs
We Are Inspired by Other Parents:
The Greatest Challenge of Life
“If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.” Jackie Kennedy, former First Lady of the United States
Having four children of my own, I believe that the most difficult job I have ever done is parent-ing. First of all, it lasts a lifetime and I am on call 24/7. Each child was completely different from the last, so I had to throw out my templates and formulas and start fresh with each one. It is not a small thing to raise a responsible, kind, ethical, spiritual, competent, compassionate human being.
If I could give any advice for effective parenting, I would echo Jackie Kennedy’s words (First La-dy of the USA), “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.” In other words, the work of parenting is of such great importance that nothing re-ally compares with it. To nurture a child requires enduring love, that draws every ounce of en-ergy, and every beat of our heart until there is nothing left. To parent means we sacrifice our-selves for them to live.
My Child Won’t Go to School.
We need to be empathetic with our children to try and find out what is going on in their world. Usually their behaviour is trying to tell us something. An online therapist can help if you are getting nowhere in your conversation with your them. Your child may be struggling with bully-ing, anxiety, depression, trauma or self-esteem. Get help as soon as possible.
I believe there are several kinds of parenting styles that have myriad hybrids of each. Most pro-fessionals describe parenting styles as:
- Uninvolved – sometimes neglectful
- Overinvolved – sometimes controlling
Diana Baumrind, a developmental psychologist, along with Maccoby and Martin, has conducted extensive observation, interviews and analyses since the 1980s. Now with over forty years of data, we have learned a lot about different parenting styles. We have learned that different parenting styles can lead to different child development and child outcomes.
All of us will automatically use the software (parenting style) that was downloaded into our brains from our experiences with our parents. Unless we are willing to do the hard work of de-leting unhelpful scripts and patterns and uploading new strategic methods, history will repeat itself, for good or for bad. An online parenting coach can really help in these areas. One thing I do know is that there are no perfect parents and we can all do better.
We all raise our voices when it comes to trying to get our children to listen.
In fact, I believe that speaking with volume and intensity is sometimes critical when it comes to ensuring the safety of our children. However, a regular diet of yelling can be quite harmful to the emotional nature of a child.
Take the time to acknowledge that yelling is your issue and that this job of parenting is calling on you to acquire new skills for the job. Shame and guilt are useless emotions to bathe in. Mod-el for your children that getting help with solving problems is a good thing. There is much that you can do to become more mindful and aware. Online therapy is a great platform for assisting you in this area.
Good parenting takes place through the conduit of a close emotional relationship of a parent. Parents need to respond sensitively to the normal emotional, behavioural and cognitive needs of a child as they go through the periods of development. Good parents understand the specific needs of each developmental period and assist the child in navigating through each level, ac-quiring the needed skills along the way.
What I have found is that it is never too early to start the habit of reciprocal conversations. In order to do this, you need more patience than they have distractions. Like the first three rules of purchasing real estate (Location, Location, Location), the three rules of parenting are:
To get a child to listen you must make them stop everything. You must meet eyeball to eyeball, letting them know what you are saying is important.
A child can be a formidable foe. And an intelligent one at that! One tool in the toolbox is to never get into a power struggle with any child over two years of age. If you do, you will likely lose. Never go to war if you could lose. So, don’t play the game. Be smarter and remember you know more. A better option is to walk away and not invest in that game but start your own.
Elise Wouterloot Counsellor on Family Therapy
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Believe me, months of experiencing the upsetting relational distance with your teen melts away with the first reconnected conversation. You will be thrilled to get your son or daughter back.
Before you beat yourself up as a parent, remember, parenting is the hardest job you will ever do in your life. In addition, every child is different. They did not come with instructions. And last time I checked there were no perfect adults and, hence, parents. So quit comparing yourself to other parents and just chose to be teachable, humble, kind and the adult in the room! Kim Christink The Executive Director for 23 years
Aggressive behaviour is a difficult challenge! Many parents are at a loss as to how to handle the outburst and meltdowns. Therapy has often proven to help!
Children and teens suffer depression. Most often it is not recognized by parents, teachers, and health professionals for many years. Don’t let them suffer alone. Depression is NOT just being sad. It is real and there is help!