What is the lifelong emotional toll of an unloving father?
5 Unselfish Qualities of True Love for Your Child is from 1 Corinthians 13 in the Bible. As you might know, this is called the love chapter. The point of the chapter is how God's people ought to relate with one, which is primarily in Christ through love.
However, the qualities of a loving relationship also apply to Christian families. This obviously includes how parents ought to love their children and in turn, how children love their parents and siblings. These qualities are the standards but are not applied like checklist rules. They flow from the mercy and grace of Christ. They are also the fruit of a Spirit-led parent and child.
A Prayer to Truly Love My Child
Dear Father, I pray that I would become more and more like Christ, filled with a heart of genuine love for You and for my family. Give me power to love in my speech, for love to be at the center of all we know, and that love would be the source of our faith. By grace give me daily patience. Make me demonstrably kind. Keep me from bragging. Eradicate my pride and replace it with Christ's life. Keep me from being rude and self-seeking. Remove from me any hot temper. Purge my mind of any registries of sins I might be keeping against my child. Please help me not to dwell on those sins. Empower me so that I would be repulsed at unrighteousness but delight in good things. May I always rejoice in truth.
Lord, may I always have a heart to protect my child's dignity, life, reputation and soul. Enable me to always put things and my child in a positive light (unless of course there is evidence to the contrary). By your Spirit help me persevere in my love for my child and family, for your pleasure until the end. In Jesus' name. Amen. (from 1 Corinthians 13)
Need help loving one another?
If you feel frustrated in your family relationships or you do not understand why you are not experiencing these love qualities, contact us today. We will do what we can to assist you find resolutions to your challenges.
Would you like to connect with a new community of parents who are growing in their knowledge and love for Christ and for their family? Go to Facebook's Relavate Families and join in!
Setting a godly example of intimacy for our youth is the topic of a talk presented by Dr. George and Mrs. Eileen Scipione. They were guest speakers for Titus 2 Community’s Christian Marriage Support group on Facebook. This live presentation was given on Tuesday, September 25, 2018.
You can view the presentation by clicking the button below or going directly to the link here.
If you wish to discuss this topic or receive help in this area, let me know. Contact me today.
Two of the books referenced in their talk are found below:
Raising Kids Who Are Critical Thinkers and Problem Solvers
Not too long ago, I was walking and juggling overflowing baskets of laundry, when my seven year old said: “Mom. I made a mistake”. As the word mistake echoed around the two of us, I stopped walking. I looked at my son, noticing his face scrunched up in concentration. Curious about this mistake I sat down with him.
Shoulder to shoulder with my son I said “I’m listening.”
“Well, I’m still thinking.” He replied.
In that moment, I so wanted to spring up and tackle the never ending laundry. But I stopped my own hurry and said “Ok. I’ll keep you company while you think.” And then I waited.
I waited because I hoped that with some time and patience, my son would figure out what to do about this mistake he was still thinking about.
Time and patience are two tools for teaching responsibility
that we parents often forget to use.
Armed with nothing but good intentions to teach our children important lessons, like responsibility and the “consequences of their actions” we parents (myself included) can be quick to jump into fixing, questioning and lecturing. Alarm bells ring in our brains when children make mistakes or misbehave:
What were you thinking…Don’t you know better…Are you kidding me…Your choices have consequences you know!!!!
But time and patience, a willingness to just be present with our children is so often much better than any lectures, consequences or punishments.
How Children Learn Responsibility
The word Responsibility breaks down beautifully into two words: Response & Ability*
(*response-ability” – the ability to choose your response. – Steven Covey)
How much a child feels ready and able to respond to her circumstances is what will help her grow in a responsible way.
When children learn how to respond to a variety of circumstances that come up in real life, like dealing with mistakes, they are actively developing responsibility. And as we gift our children our time and patience, we cultivate in our children trust and capability.
But what about consequences you may be thinking…don’t children need to know the consequences to their actions?
While many actions have consequences, by focusing on imposed consequences we often steal away the very opportunity to teach our children what responsibility really is all about.
Helping children explore the consequences of their choices is much different from imposing consequences on them. – Jane Nelsen D.Ed. author of the bestselling Positive Discipline Series.
Responsibility can’t come from imposed consequences:
Standing in the corner for spilling milk doesn’t help a child learn to pour well or how to clean up messes.
Wearing a shaming sign for cheating on a test, doesn’t teach a child how to prioritize studying. Or why education is valuable. It doesn’t teach that it is safe and helpful to ask for help when they are struggling at school.
Not playing video games for hitting a sibling doesn’t teach a child how to express his jealously, frustration or annoyances in a constructive way.
Raising responsible kids has very little to do with finding the right consequences. And everything to do with encouraging children to participate, to be problem solvers, critical thinkers and capable beings. Ones capable of accepting their circumstances, capable of looking for solutions and capable of telling the truth. Even when they make big mistakes.
Instead of focusing on consequences, teaching Response+ Ability….may start with us saying:
“I see markers on the wall. Let’s go get some soap and a sponge to clean this up together.” And following up with “Next time you want to color, you can find paper right here in this drawer.”
“Let’s dry up this water with some towels” And following up with an opportunity to practice and learn “Here, why don’t you pour me a glass and yourself another glass.”
“Looks like this broke. Too bad. The good news is, we can glue this back together.” And following up with “If you would like to see something from one of these shelves, I’d like you to ask me first.”
Eventually these moments can turn into our children feeling able to respond = responsible:
“I spilled water. I’ll get a towel!”
“Ooops, sorry I broke that. Can I help you glue it?”
“I made a mistake. And I think with a bit of help, I can fix it!”
A calm response to mishaps, mistakes and misbehaviors, one that focuses on repair and capability, wires our children to weather much bigger storms as they grow too. That is called resiliency. Resilient children know that they have resources they can use to overcome all sorts of mistakes.
Remember that mistake my son wanted to tell me about? The mistake was a broken bed! His sister’s mattress frame (yikes!) And after we sat together for a few minutes he told me how it happened. He had a plan to apologize to his siter and then he explained several possible fixes:
“Bella can sleep on my bed, and I will sleep on the broken one.”
“We can drive to the store and get a replacement slat, if you have time today or another day.”
“I have some allowance saved up and I will pay for the new bed slats and help put it back into the right place.”
“If papa let’s me borrow some tools, I can try to fix it. Duck tape might work until we get a replacement!”
These were his own solutions. Solutions that came from taking responsibility for his actions. I didn’t need to tell him it was wrong to break the bed. Or that there are consequences to his actions. He already knew that. He accepted responsibility. He thought about solutions. I’m quite sure that me imposing consequences would have not added anything helpful to his learning process.
Mistakes and misbehaviors that at first glance may seem like the very moments to impose consequences are often the exact opportunities for us parents to gift our children some time and patience. And in this case, an excellent excuse for me to ignore laundry for just a while longer 😉
So what do you think, is it possible to foster responsibility without imposing consequences?
Peace & Be Well,
Raising Problem Solvers The One Question to Ask Before Helping Your Child By Alissa Marquess @Creative with Kids
Eight Ways to Deal with Anger as a Parent by Kristina B. @Toddler Approved
How To Be an Empathetic Parent, Even When it Feels Hard by Andrea Nair
Ariadne is a happy and busy mama to three children. She practices peaceful, playful, responsive parenting and is passionate about all things parenting and chocolate. Ariadne has a B.S. in Communication, is a certified Positive Discipline Parenting Educator, and has completed several graduate courses in child development, psychology and family counseling. She lives on top of a beautiful mountain with her family, one cuddly dog and "bluey" the fish.
How to Support Your Kid at School Without Being a Helicopter Parent
Parents can help their children most by getting back to the basics and not trying to solve everything.
As the school year looms, it’s easy for parents like me to feel a sense of intense pressure. We may worry, sometimes for valid reasons, about our children’s academic progress, independence, and social life. We get caught up in micromanaging and ruminating instead of staying grounded and clear-sighted in our planning.
How do we reduce the pressure and still give our children what they need? A long-term focus on the resilience of our children—their ability to overcome challenges independently—is what can really help them thrive in school.
As a developmental pediatrician, I believe it’s the proven basics that matter most for a child’s resilience: their belief in their own self-efficacy, strong self-management skills, and reliable relationships. If we can let go of other pressures created by our busy family life, fads and trends within our communities, and information overload on the Internet, we can confidently focus on the tried-and-true instead.
As we start this new school year, here’s what child development research shows builds resilience in our kids.
1. Consistent relationships
Dr. Robert Brooks, one of the foremost experts on resiliency, emphasizes the benefit of having at least one “charismatic adult” in your life throughout childhood. Dr. Brooks defines this vital role as someone from whom a child gains strength and who meets their emotional needs. Healthy relationships of this kind start with consistency, positive feedback, and low-key, fun time together.
So, before filling up your calendar with extra activities, protect family time, play time, and social time in your child’s weekly schedule. For example, research shows that in families who eat meals together more frequently, adolescents have higher well-being and better relationships. Unstructured play time helps kids build relationships and contributes to the development of their social-emotional and self-management skills—which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics recently issued a recommendation that physicians “prescribe” play for children.
2. A sense of self-efficacy
In everyday life, encourage your children to believe in their own strengths—whether around their behavior, a sport, creativity, or whatever you else you see—by praising and valuing them yourself, particularly when they find school challenging. Perhaps even more importantly, notice and comment on their hard work when you see it. When children hear that solid effort leads to success, rather than getting the message that they should be smart and get good grades, they persist more. This helps them become more resilient when they suffer any setbacks in doing their schoolwork.
Most children are also driven by short-term achievements and have a hard time persisting when they don’t taste success. They will be more motivated when they focus on incremental goals that sustain their interest and sense of accomplishment, rather than protracted long-term plans. For example, if your child has been struggling in French, “successfully stick to your new study plan this month” may be more motivating then “get a B+ in French this year.”
3. Self-management skills
“Executive function” skills include all mental abilities that allow us to envision the future, organize our lives, persist at long-term tasks, and make plans. Since these skills only mature as we become adults, it isn’t typical for younger children and even many teens to manage their academic lives independently until they learn how from adults.
Without these more concrete managerial abilities, our children may find that success is elusive. Because of that, many require direct guidance around academic routines right up until they show themselves capable. In fact, what appears to be poor effort on their part often reflects a lack of knowing what to do next, or how to adjust and stick to a plan.
By understanding how executive function develops, we can accept the reality that many students need involved parents and teachers to figure out how to study, manage time, and handle whatever hurdles they encounter around school. Teach self-management skills by creating detailed routines around homework, managing projects, writing assignments, and studying, and then assist children in maintaining those plans. We can change the course of an entire school year by establishing useful academic habits right from the start.
4. Addressing skill deficits
Whenever children fall behind, it’s vital for their future that we intervene early. Around executive function, language, reading, and anywhere else, the sooner children catch up, the better. That catch-up requires that we honestly, compassionately evaluate where work is needed, then implement appropriate supports. Many students require parents and teachers to lead and initiate these interventions, since problem-solving and self-advocacy are also part of their (still-maturing) executive function.
One specific way to improve executive function is through mindfulness—a focused, nonjudgmental attention towards everyday experience that can be developed with practice. Children can learn mindfulness through formal meditation, such as a few minutes built into bedtime. More informally, it can grow from paying detailed attention to activities like eating or walking in the woods. Whatever works for your family, these types of practices are also something to consider when prioritizing family time.
While nothing is guaranteed, focusing on these proven basics—healthy relationships, emphasizing effort, self-management skills, and early intervention—is bound to make a difference to your children. While countless other details, plans, and challenges will no doubt be part of their school year, it’s their resilience that will provide the strength to persist through it all. As a parent, coming back to this simple framework when you feel off balance or overwhelmed will help you let go of any pressure to do even more. And you can rest assured that you already are setting up your child for a successful school year.
Need advice about how you can help your child navigate well through school? Concerned you are being too controlling with your elementary school son or daughter? Contact me today to see how we can work together to find positive solutions for better relationships.
Science says happier people are raised by parents who do this one thing...
[This post was originally writte by Jeff Hayden and can be found in Inc.com.]
Want your kids to be happier kids? More importantly, want your children to grow up to be happier and more satisfied for the rest of their lives?
Less Controlling and More Caring
A study from the University College of London found that the people who perceived their parents as less psychologically controlling and more caring as they were growing up were likely to be happier and more satisfied as adults.
On the flip side, the people whose parents applied greater psychological control as they were growing up exhibited significantly lower mental well being throughout their adult lives; in fact, the effect was judged to be similar to the recent death of a close friend or relative.
According to Dr. Mai Stafford, the lead author of the study:
"We found that people whose parents showed warmth and responsiveness had higher life satisfaction and better mental wellbeing throughout early, middle and late adulthood. By contrast, psychological control was significantly associated with lower life satisfaction and mental wellbeing. Examples of psychological control include not allowing children to make their own decisions, invading their privacy and fostering dependence."
Psychological control and behavioral control are different
Psychological control differs from behavioral control. Behavioral control includes things like setting curfews, assigning chores, and expecting homework to be completed.
Behavioral control was determined when respondents disagreed with statements like "Gave me as much freedom as I wanted" and "Let me go out as often as I wanted." While that might sound psychologically controlling, it's not. Those parents set limits on certain types of behaviors -- but not on feelings.
Psychological control involves not letting kids make some of their own decisions, not allowing privacy, and encouraging feelings of dependence.
Psychological control was determined when respondents agreed with statements like "Tried to control everything I did" and "Tried to make me feel dependent on her/him."
If the difference still seems fuzzy, here's an explanation from Nancy Darling, Ph.D.:
- Behavioral control refers to the extent to which parents ask kids to constrain their behavior to meet the needs of others. Strictness is one way to think about it, but I think it is better conceptualized as the parents' expectation that the child conform to high standard--especially when it's difficult. It also captures the extent to which parents follow through on rules they set.
- Psychological control is the extent to which parents try to control the child's emotional state or beliefs. For example, they may use guilt induction or make the child feel that they won't be loved if they don't do what parents want. The core of psychological control is that it assaults the child's self.
"We know from other studies," says Dr. Stafford, "that if a child shares a secure emotional attachment with their parents, they are better able to form secure attachments in adult life. Parents also give us a stable base from which to explore the world, while warmth and responsiveness has been shown to promote social and emotional development. By contrast, psychological control can limit a child's independence and leave them less able to regulate their own behavior."
How can you, the parent show you care?
What can you do to show that you care? What can you do to maintain some degree of behavioral control... without straying into the psychological control zone?
In the study, "caring" was measured by agreement with statements like "Appeared to understand my problems and worries" and "Was affectionate to me."
That should be easy.
Then feel free to set limits you feel are appropriate. Feel free to have expectations. But then go one step farther: Talk about why you set those limits and why you have those expectations. Then allow your kids to talk, and make sure you listen. You may be able to control certain behaviors, but you can't control every opinion -- so don't try. Show that even though you might disagree, you still respect their right to see things differently. Showing respect is a great way to show you care.
And make sure you let your kids make as many of their own decisions as you can. The best way to learn to make smart choices -- and to take responsibility for our actions -- is to start early.
After all, your ultimate goal is to raise them to be successful and independent adults -- because that's a great recipe for happiness and satisfaction.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON: MAR 15, 2017