By Matt Hellstrom
Our primary job as an effective parent is to make sure our kids are able to function successfully on their own when they leave the house. Every decision we make should be made with that goal in mind. This knowledge and single-minded focus should help us to navigate the waters of parenting much easier, because we have a definite destination in mind.
So how do we accomplish this daunting task? By teaching our kids two skills – problem-solving and accountability. If you’ve got a disrespectful, belligerent child, you’ve probably got a child with a problem he doesn’t know how to solve. As a effective parent, we need to step them through the process of solving that problem, and being accountable for their actions.
Problem solving is a process. Problem solving is difficult, otherwise we wouldn’t have any problems. Many kids with abusive behaviors don’t have the patience for the problem solving process. Parents need to understand the importance of problem solving in the learning process and not do it for the child. The time to start is when they’re young, because the problems are more easily solved then, even though the child may feel like they’re monumental. As they get older, they will be more able to solve the bigger problems if they’ve had experience with the smaller ones when they were young.
Coach him forward. If you watch the last 2 minutes of a close NFL game you’ll notice the coach is usually all business and no emotion. This should be our goal as parents. We’re the trainers for the skills our children need to become successful, responsible adults. We need to be patient and calm as they go through the learning process.
Teach by example. Remember – monkey see, monkey do. If they see you calmly approaching the problems that you encounter in your life, they will learn to do the same. Also use life situations to teach. Have them pay for their item at the store, or order and pay for their food at a fast food restaurant. These are little things to us, but not to kids. As they become comfortable with these small tasks, they’ll be more able to handle the bigger ones as they grow older.
Provide strategic help and solutions. Only give them things they can handle. Offer supportive assistance along the way, don’t criticize them, and most importantly of all, don’t do it for them. As tempting as this may be, you need to let them succeed or fail on their own. We all know it’s easier to load the dishwasher or make the kids bed than to try to get them to do it, but what does that teach them?
Encourage exploration and experimentation. As they get to be a teen, you need to let them try out their own ideas for problem-solving and encourage and praise their resourcefulness.
Recognize setbacks and failures as opportunities. Everyone experiences successes and failures. Kids can learn from both, probably more from the failures than from the successes. Also, keep the failures in perspective. Don’t freak out when they make a mistake – use it as a teaching opportunity.
Parenting is a daunting task, especially when it comes to teenagers. Hopefully, these tips will help you to have the most effective parenting skills possible.
These tips are part of a guaranteed, simple program designed to stop your child’s out-of-control, defiant behavior RIGHT NOW! Read a review of The Total Transformation today, and take the first step to getting control of your house back. You can also learn more effective parenting skills from Matt and Julie’s parenting journey blog. This blog contains lots of useful (and some useless) tidbits that they’ve discovered in the last 15 years of parenting in the trenches with 5 adopted kids.
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See Also Parenting Articles by Dr. Randy Cale at www.TerrificParenting.com