What Works In Effective Parent Guidance
Let’s start with what does not work.
It is not effective for parents to leave your child’s future to fate.
It is not effective for parents to be passive in their child raising.
It is not effective for parents to hover intently over their child.
It is not effective for parents to simply cross their fingers or to light a candle.
It is not effective for parents to believe they can buy their child’s future.
It is not effective for parents to think they can use the strength of their personalities to force their will on their child.
It is not effective for parents to place blind trust in their child’s school-trust, but verify.
It is not effective for parents to always listen to friends and family.
It is not effective for parents to compare their child to others.
It is not effective for parents to threaten or diminish their child.
We all do some of the above as parents. We know it is wrong and is ineffective parenting even as we do it, but we still do it because of frustration, fatigue, and because we simply do not know how to parent effectively.
So, let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
At Confident Parenting, we do not cast stones. We do not seek to blame and shame. Instead, we use our forty years experience in working with parents and children to partner with you in Effective Parenting 101 to improve the quality of your family life.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of books out there that seek to tell you all that you are wrong as a parent. Some are classics, and in one our blogs, we suggest some good summer reads for you that will help anyone seeking to be a more effective parent.
However, many are simply retreads and provide only well-meaning platitudes when what is needed is solid, effective, parenting advice.
In an earlier blog, we reminded readers that children come with neither a warning, batteries, nor an instructional manual.
Sacrifice and Commitment
The great news is that this present generation of parents, as distinct from those of the Baby boomers or Gen X periods, are already demonstrating a commitment to effective parenting that was absent in the past.
These parents are willing to sacrifice and to do whatever it takes to ensure they raise happy and productive children.
However, they are hamstrung by the fact that they themselves were not always raised well by parents who may have loved them, but whose parenting skills were sometimes suspect. These were the first two generations of latch-key keys – the first generations of dual-income families where both parents work outside the home. It was a dynamic change to the family structure in the United States, one that was not supportive of parent-child relationships.
This generation of parents has made a commitment to being more effective for the sake of their children.
If you read some earlier blogs from Confident Parenting, you will understand why to be an effective parent, you cannot leave it to fate.
Your parents’ more laissez-faire approach to parenting is no longer enough to ensure success for your child in what, as we approach the third decade of the 21st century, is a very complex, ever-changing society that makes modern parenting fraught with challenges.
Before deciding on a new car, many parents will employ an effective plan that involves extensive internet searches, speaking to present and past owners, and asking many, many questions about the car’s quality.
And yet, when it comes to our children, we just let things happen.
Just how well do you know your three-year-old, your ten-year-old, or your sixteen-year-old? Do you really understand your child’s strengths and challenges as a student and a person?
The answer is likely not. And this is the biggest mistake you can make.
To be an effective parent, you must objectively know your child. This means more than just knowing his favorite food, or movie, or song.
It means understanding your child’s cognitive and social-emotional profile as the foundational point from which to start on your journey to becoming an effective parent.
At Confident Parenting, we help you to create this profile with a FREE assessment instrument.
We do this because we believe that it is only when a parent has such a foundational profile in hand that effective parenting for future success can begin.
Contact us today.
At Confident Parenting, we work with parents who believe that the most effective approach to parenting is either through buying, ignoring, hovering, or forcing their child towards success.
There is no evidence that any of these approaches work as effective parenting strategies. In fact, the suggestion is the opposite.
These tactics may work for a while, especially when the child is young, but eventually, the child will start to undermine these approaches either through passive resistance or through rebellion.
The child pushed into multiple sports teams will burn out and walk away.
The girl who is not allowed to express her needs and wants will eventually revolt.
The boy who is expected to get only straight As will find solace at weekends by experimenting with behaviors that are dangerous.
It does not always happen in the same way and at the same age, but it will happen.
If you wish to be an effective parent, you cannot be an authoritarian parent. It will come back to bite you in some way, and at some time.
If authoritarian/helicopter parenting does not work, then what is effective?
This depends a lot on the temperamental makeup of the child and his/her parents.
In a previous blog, we mentioned that understanding the temperaments of each person in the family unit is hugely important.
For example, if mom is a Type A, take-no-prisoners person and dad is much more laid back in his approach, and they have a child that is anxious, conflict and struggles are more likely.
At Confident Parenting, we offer an assessment of temperament that informs each family member on how best to interact with each other.
The optimum, most effective form of parenting is open for some discussion. Gen X and Baby Boomer parents would have answered this question by advocating for an authoritative style.
Today’s generation of young parents is more likely to approach effective parenting by following a more attachment parenting style.
Both of these approaches have much in common, but there are, also, significant differences between them.
In the authoritative style of effective parenting, love and logic are dominant.
To be most effective, these parents are loving towards their child. They are naturally nurturing towards their child, and model positivity. They stay close as they work to build a strong emotional bond within the family.
Their consistently warm and predictable behavior demonstrates to their child that they can be trusted that they can be trusted.
They understand that success takes time to build, and they show the patience needed.
At the same time, they make clear to their child that they have high expectations of him/her as a student and as a person. They provide the resources their child needs by providing a predictable, loving environment, but they expect their child to play his/her role.
The attachment style of parenting is, also, very positive. How parents develop an effective attachment with their child lies in their ability to create the child’s need for trust, empathy, and affection by providing consistent, love and care. By demonstrating healthy, effective parenting skills, the parent provides a critical emotional foundation for the child to learn essential future self-regulatory skills.
The difference between the two is that the attachment parents offer unconditional love and view the transitional aspects of the authoritative parenting style as oppressive.
Neither is wrong; both are effective parenting approaches, and those parents that can take the best of both and create a balanced approach to their own effective parenting will find great success.
At Confident Parenting, we help parents to create an effective plan for success in the comfort of your own home, and at a price much less than a therapist.
We then stay with you through the process, acting as your mentor and partner. The relationship works very well.
Do not hesitate to contact us- the price of doing nothing is great; the cost of becoming an effective parent is one call.