I know there are many fears that come with parenting. When we think about what our children will become when they grow up, our minds can wander in a million different directions- both positive and negative. For me and my husband, one of our huge fears is our children becoming self-absorbed. We have both seen the negative effects of this and how it not only effects the family but our world. I have found the tips we are discussing this week to be very helpful in raising our children. I must caution you: it is difficult for many people to understand this. They want to have children that are not full of themselves, however, they want to keep it easy on themselves as parents. I want to let you know- THIS IS DIFFICULT! But it is so worth it! Here are 2 more tips- 4. Children need freedom of expression. There's no use in trying to stop problem behavior by being authoritarian, that just alienates kids by shaming them. No one likes to be the bad guy, however, children need boundaries. It is imperative they receive a parent's input as they're growing up and it is necessary to have their bubble burst when they're acting too selfishly. Children also benefit from strong, nurturing parents who can serve as models. They desire positive, gentle corrective feedback. They also need a parent to practice what they preach and show the child what they believe to be right from wrong. Not only does this help a child develop a conscience, it also gives them someone to admire.
5. Empathy for a child is the same as treating him/her as a friend, sharing all my feelings and "modeling" closeness. Children need to know the truth about their parents at all times. Good parental boundaries mean not treating a child as a friend, confidant, or confessing things to them. This may make a child feel "special", but this is a wrong kind of special. It gives the message to the child that they are an equal and this will then blur the parent-child roles. This behavior often results in children who have little to no respect for authority, whether it is the parent's authority or that of any other adult.
Tomorrow Joleen will discuss 2 more things to avoid. Thank you so much for reading and have a wonderful day!
Adapted by Sandy Hotchkiss,
Why Is it Always about You?
*Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.