"Most parents are having a difficult time raising their child. With pressures and strains mounting every day ... it is easy to become confused and discouraged. Rising divorce rates, economic crises, declining quality of education, and less trust in leadership all take an emotional toll on everyone. As parents become more physically, emotionally and spiritually drained, it becomes increasingly difficult to nurture their child. I am convinced that a child takes the greatest brunt of these difficult times. A child is the most needy person in our society, and his greatest need is love." How to Really Love Your Child : Ross Campbell. p.11-12.
Every parent wants to raise children who will succeed in life.
Each of us have particular skills and different philosophies which we work to make part of our children's lives to equip them for success in the future.
Some say there are three main areas of life we must consider to raise a successful child - their intellectual or academic development
- their physical development
- their spiritual development
BUT if a child hasn't learnt to CONTROL themselves, they won't go far in life, regardless of how clever or gifted they are in these things.
My kids ~ I remember times when my kids were out of control. Sometimes I really struggled as a mum, especially as more children came along. Our first four kids were born two years apart and then next three, three years apart. At times I was embarrassed publicly because of their lack of control. But this forced me to want to get help and find a solution to help them learn to control themselves.
As a young mum I was looking for solutions and they were given to me a piece at a time - through books, conversations or ideas that popped into my head.
As I worked at putting into practice the things I recognised as great ideas and common sense, I became more confident and encouraged as a parent.
At the same time my children were also changing for the better. The strong-willed ones were demonstrating the positive side of this character trait. There was less grumbling, arguing and less chaos. We were starting to experience a buoyancy in our family.
How did we get to this point? What brought the changes?
3 IDEAS THAT PROVIDED A SOLUTION ~
The first came through Ross Campbell's book "How to Really Love Your Child". He also co-authored "The Five Love Languages of Children".
IDEA No. 1 ~ A REALISTIC VIEW OF MY CHILDREN AND MY ROLE.
In his book Ross Campbell gave me a thought process that led me to how I needed to think.
" 1) they are children
2) they will tend to act like children
3) much of childish behaviour is unpleasant
4) if I do my part as a parent and love them despite their childish behaviour, they will be able to mature and give up childish ways
5) if I only love them when they please me (conditional love), and convey my love to them only during those times, they will not feel genuinely loved. This in turn will make them insecure, damage their self-image, and actually prevent them from moving on to better self-control and more mature behaviour. Therefore, their behaviour and its development is my responsibility as much as theirs
6) if I love them unconditionally, they will feel good about themselves and be comfortable with themselves. They will then be able to control their anxiety and, in turn, their behaviour, as they grow into adulthood
7) if I only love them when they meet my requirements or expectations, they will feel incompetent. They will believe it is fruitless to do their best because it is never enough. Insecurity, anxiety, and low self-esteem will plague them. They will be constant hinderances in their emotional and behavioural growth. Again their total growth is as much my responsibility as theirs
8) for my sake as a struggling parent, and for my son's (and daughter's) sakes, I pray my love for my children will be as unconditional as I can make it. The future of my children depend on this foundation." How to Really Love Your Child : Ross Campbell. p.30-31.
Here was a realistic description of what I was experiencing. Children being children. Here was an explanation for their bad emotional behaviour. I was already finding bits that I could see would lead me to a solution. I had to take up my responsibility as a parent in my child's emotional and behavioural development.
It started with regularly realigning my view of what they were like as children [ by reading 1) - 3)]
I found hope to persevere [ by reading 4) and 6)]
I was warned where not to head [ by reading 5) and 7)]. By thinking long and hard on the consequences of going the wrong way, I was pulled back into the direction I wanted to go as a parent.
THISWEEKWITHTHEKIDS ~ spend time watching your kids play or work and to become more aware of where they are in themselves. Are they easily frustrated? Do they seem insecure? Look back on old photos of them. It may be helpful to compare what was happening then to what you see now.