Purposeful Parenting – Expert Advice on Creating a Phenomenal Family
Parenting is an important part of your life as it helps your children excel in life. No one is born a good parent, it takes determination, hard work, and will to raise your children right.
Dr. Phil McGraw focuses on some strategies which parents should follow to manage crisis and maintain peace in their homes. He has shared some tools for purposeful parenting.
The tools that can help you get a phenomenal family are discussed below
Tool 1: Parenting with Purpose
A parent can play a really important role in a child’s life by defining success goals for the child. When you choose goals for your child that comply with their age, it gives them a purpose and they are able to master their world as they go on to become great achievers. When you define success for your child, it must be based on the abilities, skills, and interests of the child and should not superimpose your ambitions on the child. The goals that must be set are authenticity and socialization. Authenticity develops when child’s interests, abilities are matched with the child’s talents. Socialization makes the child more responsible, harmonizing them with other people and developing strong and trusting relationships. It is about exploring their blessings completely.
Tool 2: Having a Sense of Clarity
This comes from the fact that proper communication between a child and his parents plays a vital role in having a loving and caring relationship. Allow the child to feel that they are powerful and influential in the boundaries that you have created. One of the ways how you can do this is by giving your children your complete attention. You must listen to your child. Generally, the communication is one way. Also, you communicate with your child when there is some emergency.
Dr. Phil says it is important to talk about other events that keep happening on a routine basis. If your child comes home late, then that is not the right time to discuss it. Save the discussion for next morning when you would have clear heads or discuss it before he goes out at night. Do not shout at him as it is the worst form of communication that can happen. Timing is really important. Also, children want to know that they are heard and listened to. It is important to be considerate of his feelings. Let them know that they can earn reward and privileges if they behave as they are expected to.
Tool 3: Parenting Through Negotiation
It is important for you to assess the type and personality of the child you are dealing with. This will help you decide a negotiation approach that you must adopt. If your kid is rebellious, you want to approach the situation in a particular way. Your child should be able to evaluate and predict the consequences of the actions so that they feel responsible for the outcomes. If you want to successfully negotiate with your child, narrow down the dispute to know what the child wants. Work together to find a win- win situation. Make specific negotiated agreements.
Tool 4: Parenting with Currency
If you want your children to behave properly, you need to establish standards. Generally, when parents face the undesirable behavior of their child, they react by complaining. However, Dr. Phil says that you need not focus on the negative behaviors. Instead, your aim should be developing positive behaviors in your child. You need to establish the currency for your child. Currency is some kind of a reward that is presented to the child after a desirable behavior. This will increase the likelihood of occurrence of the positive behavior. So, they get as much of what they want when they exhibit appropriate behavior.
You can use a number of different currencies that depend on the age of the child. It could be stuffed toys, television and computer games, DVDs, etc. You need to understand what your child values. Accordingly, you can bring about a required change in your child’s behavior. You can ask your child to sign a behavior contract or contingency contracts. This is a written agreement detailing what is expected of the child and what would be the consequences if the child does not follow it.
Tool 5: Adopting Change
You need to be committed to bring about a change. You should have whatever-it-takes mentality. For example, you may have to take a week off from your work and be with children at home. You may have to cut out on eating out or going out on vacations. You must understand that the future of your children is at stake. This calls out to redefine your roles. It is called as creating disequilibrium as it involves shifting of power. It may not go well with people who were earlier in power and now do not have a say. It requires thoughtful planning. Dr. Phil has suggested ways to create disequilibrium like developing a communication system, anticipating resistance, having a support system.
Tool 6: Leading by Example
It is a very powerful technique. Children learn a lot by noticing the behaviors of others around them and observing the consequences of their actions. They see what happens to family members when they succeed or fail. This becomes a reference point for them. This technique is known as modeling. You can use your actions, behavior, love, and words to instill the attitude that you want in your children. Be a role model for them and show them how to be happy and fulfilled adults. Have a positive attitude and let go of any negative patterns that are destructive in nature.
Tool 7: Creating Harmony
You need to evaluate what is a distraction for you. If you think that TV, phones, messaging is taking too much of your time then you need to shift your priorities. The sooner you start this process the better it will be. If the children are still young, you will be able to change the pace of your life easily and it will also have more impact. You can list out the priorities of your family. Also list out the top ten things that you consider as wastage of time. Compare the two lists and decipher whether the way the family is living their life and investing their time is fine. If you feel you are not devoting enough time to your priorities, you must allocate your time and make your commitments so that whatever is important to you is dealt with first.