Many of us inherently use the parenting style that we saw modeled in our house growing up. But how is that parenting style working for you now? Did you ever think what kind of a message these parenting styles send to your kids?
For example, were you raised by a “Drill Sergeant” always telling you to “Jump,” with you asking, “How high?” Drill sergeants are communicating these messages: “You can’t think for yourself. You can’t make it without me.”
Or were you raised by a “Helicopter” always hovering, ready to swoop in and rescue? Helicopters send these messages: “You are fragile. You need me to protect you.” Are these the kinds of messages you want to send to your precious children? If not, what can you do?
The Love and Logic® Parenting program provides some great ideas for simple, easy-to-use techniques that can make a real difference in your family. Are you ready to try some new tools in your parenting toolbox?
Consider adopting the a new parenting style – the “Consultant.” Consultants send this message to their kids: “You do your own best thinking.” How do consultant parents convey this message? One way is to offer choices and alternatives instead of orders or commands. Commands give something for the kids to fight against, while choices encourage your child to think through their problems.
Here are some guidelines for offering choices as a “Consultant” parent:
Give only 2 choices, either of which you are happy with.
Do you want to do your homework before or after your snack?
Do you want to change your diaper over here or over there?
If the child doesn’t decide in 10 seconds, you decide for them.
Only give choices when things are going well and before any resistance.
Build up your choice savings account so you can make a withdrawal.
Sweetie, don’t I usually give you choices? It’s my turn now. Thanks for understanding.
Many of the parents in my classes have happily reported that they have successfully gained their child’s cooperation by giving choices. One mom’s toddler chose which bib to wear, another child decided which shoe to put on first, and someone else’s little one selected a song to sing when their getting into the car seat.
School-aged kids chose between washing the plates or the glasses first, going to bed now or in 10 minutes, or brushing their teeth before or after putting on their pajamas.
Teenagers can decide to set their curfew at 10:00 p.m. or 10:30 p.m., to wash the car before they drive to Tom’s or on their way home from his house, or to fill out the college application with Mom’s help or without.
If you want to adopt the “Consultant” parenting style, the tool of giving choices will be a great addition to your parenting toolbox.
For more parenting strategies that work, visit http://www.HeadandHeartParent.com for your free copy of “Is your Child out of Control? How to Set Loving Limits and Free your Family.” Author Shelly Moorman, owner of Head and Heart Parenting, is a parent coach, public speaker, and instructor of the “Becoming a Love and Logic Parent” program. Contact Shelly to register for a class, speak to your group, or coach you on how to use these practical tools to raise respectful, responsible kids.
By: Shelly Moorman