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Three Types Of Parents
by Jack Wellman
2010-01-04 09:54:41
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There are ways to effectively coach your children in life. This includes coaching them at home, school and of last importance, in sports. Words of encouragement go a long ways toward making them more effective in these areas of life. There are primarily three types of parents: The Drill Sergeant, the Search and Rescuer, and the Consultant. Which are you?

The Drill Sergeant. This type of parent is always in the face of the child and is constantly pushing and pressuring them to do better at home and in school. Even in sports, they can be yelling at their children to their extreme embarrassment. Saying, or perhaps, yelling at them to “clean up your room” or “get your homework done or no supper for you!” They may get these things done, but it is often associated with provoking them to anger or they do it out of fear. In this way, there is no internal locus of control built, just a “my way or the highway” mentality.

What they learn is if they want other people to do things for them, the way to get things done is through shouting or intimidating others. This pattern for getting things accomplished will likely be repeated in their own children’s lives someday. A vicious cycle is established and one that will not easily be broken, but can be repeated, generation after generation.

The Search and Rescuer. This type of parent constantly hovers over a child, waiting for a mistake; not to yell at them, but to drop in and rescue them. This type of parent wants to rescue them from something that the parent deems the child is not able to do themselves. This builds an externally-dependent child. One who, when they experience difficulty, will often give up in frustration because they realize that they can not do it, explained by the parent always coming to the rescue.

An important lesson is never learned by the child. That is that through trial and error, they can actually discover how to solve problems on their own. What happens when the day comes, and it will come, when the child leaves home and has to do for themselves? This type of child tends to be fearful of challenges and change and may actually be thwarted by life’s ups and downs. If they learn anything, it is that they can not learn anything. They learn to call on the parents or others for things that, given the chance, could actually learn to do for themselves. Therefore, their life is always limited by what they deem is impossible because they have been rescued before they are able to accomplish difficult tasks.

The Consultant. This parent is neither a drill sergeant or a search and rescuer. They let the child try to establish for themselves how they can solve problems. They allow the child to try and fail only to try again, eventually to succeed. When things get frustrating for a child, the parent does not try to do it for them or they don’t try to yell or scream them into submission. The parent acts as a consultant.

The consultant parent might approach a child who is going through a difficult assignment like this: “Boy, I see that you are really having difficulties. I remember when I was your age, I had problems with math too. I just had to go to the back of the textbook and look at several example problems to see who they solved these equations. I just don’t know what you’re going to do, but that’s what I did. Let me know if I can help you in anyway.”

There seems to be a correlation between letting children solve their own problems and when they ask for help, being there for them. And cheering them on when they have success while being sympathetic and consulting when they have no success. Positive reinforcement and allowing a child to fail is a productive way for teaching children to learn how to solve problems for themselves and to ask for help when they can not. And then you can be cheering them on like crazy when that success does happen. It takes ten positive comments to make up for one negative one. And being sympathetic and consulting is always more productive in the long term, than yelling or doing it for them.

Which type of parent you are or wish to become is a choice. Just like letting children make choices, parents have choices too. The power to choose to be an effective parent or the power to choose to be defective parent. A power-full parent or an empowering parent. Will you pass on a power to choose or pass on their choice to have power? Whichever you choose, the cycle can either be established or broken. For your child (and for your grandchildren), the repercussions can be for a lifetime.

An excerpt from Chapter Five of: Teaching Children The Gospel / How To Raise Godly Children https://www.createspace.com/3421629

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Thanos2010-01-04 15:48:14
Having a very young child not in my prime I learned one thing about parenthood, that the children are the ones who ...train us!!!

Emanuel Paparella2010-01-05 10:00:34
How true! Christ said that unless we become like them, we shall not enter the Kingdom of God. Here is what Gabran has to say about children:

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Jack2010-01-06 02:22:06
Thanos, you are so right my friend. I really wonder who is training whom?

And Emanuel, the quote you used, "You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow" is most true.

Alas, my last leaves fast to leave an empty nest. Not another minute can my money buy...

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