LESSON #1: HELP! I’M A PARENT!! UNDERSTANDING YOUR ROLE AS A PARENT
As parents, we frequently feel that we need to press the “help button.” I believe all of us understand the importance of our role in the lives of our children.
Because of that awareness, parental responsibilities can be overwhelming and we need help. Although we would like to be perfect parents, it’s not possible.
There are no perfect parents, because we are human. In a sense, it’s a relief to know that successes and failures are normal in the life of a parent.
Our child needs us to be an attentive parent, not a perfect one. In fact, through mistakes, we can learn to make needed changes.
Scientists tell us from brain research, that we learn more from our mistakes, than by doing things perfectly every time. At this point, we may feel as though we have made so many mistakes that we have created a huge mess!
Be encouraged! It is never too late to begin doing the right thing and making positive changes for the benefit of our child.
LESSON #3: COMMUNICATION WITHIN THE FAMILY – HOW WELL DO YOU COMMUNICATE?
Effective communication is important to the happiness and well-being of a family.
Researchers tell us that we communicate in the following ways:
- 7% of what we communicate to others is through our words.
- 33% of what we communicate to others is through our tone of voice.
- 60% of what we communicate to others is through our body language.
How we use our words, our tone of voice and our body language effect our communications with others. We must be able to communicate in positive ways in order to build close relationships. Researchers have found that there is a connection between how well we communicate within our family and how healthy and happily our family operates.
LESSON #2: LET’S GET CONNECTED! BUILDING TRUST
In our last lesson, we explored the four parenting styles; authoritarian, permissive, uninvolved, and authoritative. We discovered that the authoritative parenting style is our “targeted” style of parenting, because it is based on God’s model of parenting us. This style of parenting builds a foundation of trust and creates a long-lasting relationship with our children.
Let’s review the qualities of the Authoritative Parenting model. This parent……
- Teaches and guides
- Is reliable and available
- Sets limits and guidelines
- Allows the child freedom to make choices
- Respects the child’s ideas and thoughts
- Uses the child’s mistakes to teach him/her better ways to behave
- Shows unconditional love
- Builds connection between parent and child
- Follows through consistently
- Makes decisions based on the child’s needs
- Is firm and loving
- Is clearly in charge
LESSON #4: DISCIPLINE – SHAPING BEHAVIOR
Discipline is a topic that concerns every parent and it’s an area in which parents are least sure. Providing discipline is important for your child’s overall development and helps to guide him/her in making the right decisions. Because of its importance, the task of shaping your child’s will requires your daily commitment.
In order to shape your child’s behavior, you need to first establish the boundaries in your home. What behaviors are acceptable and which are not? Boundaries provide a feeling of safety and security. When your child understands that the boundaries do not change, he/she feels secure.
Without a feeling of safety, your child can experience anxiety and stress, causing him/her to behave in ways that are reckless, manipulative, and aggressive. It is normal for your child to test boundaries; therefore, you must be diligent and consistent in enforcing the limits in the home. When your child learns to obey the rules in the home, he/she is better equipped to live within the rules of society.
MORE OF OUR LESSONS:
INTRODUCTION TO PARENT CLASSES
Remember back to the very first time you held your baby? If your experience was similar to mine, you were in awe of God’s unique and beautiful creation. Your heart was full of love and your mind was filled with hopes and dreams for your little one. As new parents, we looked forward to developing a relationship with our child that would bring joy to us for years to come.
We soon discovered, as our child grew and developed, that there were many challenges in parenting. Our child was no longer a helpless infant, dependent upon us for everything, but a child who was persistent in exerting his/her independence. We began to understand the immense responsibility we have as parents, and this realization sometimes becomes overwhelming.