So to continue…it's all about the best way to effectively parent! According to John Rosemond, parenting should be gentle but firm and determined to lead. He states time and again that the following phrases (along with others which you will probably think of), were used by generations before ours, to give our children healthy boundaries and let them know what was expected of them. I’m sure you can finish most of these phrases because, chances are, you heard them:
“If you can’t find…”, “Because I…”, “Good citizenship…” and “You are getting too big for…”! (See the end of this blog for the end of the phrases!) All of them were reminders to our children to keep their behavior and their attitudes in check. However, the Post Modern Psychological Community (PMPC) convinced us that phrases like these “stifled and suffocated” our children’s self-esteem. My husband and I don’t agree, and neither does John Rosemond! We’ll come back to the notion of self-esteem later.
I love Rosemond’s advice to use 1) “disciplinary communication that commands”, 2) “disciplinary consequences that compel”, and 3) “disciplinary consistency that confirms.” What do those mean? 1) We need to reclaim our authority in our homes (and give up the notion that we are our children’s “friends”- We will be at a later stage…if we do things in the right order), 2) convince our children that our boundaries and the consequences for stepping out of them are worth paying attention to and obeying, and 3) that we mean what we say and will stick to our guns.
The PMPC had parents shying away from strong discipline that gets a message across clearly and concisely… and that was the trouble. We agree with Rosemond, who can’t say it enough, that leadership and authority have GOT to be present in the home as we raise our
children. We appreciated his phrase: “Let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no!” In other words…Say what you mean and mean what you say! We can’t confuse our children by letting our “No” be “well maybe…” Rosemond also recommends getting to the point with an economy of words and not getting sucked into explaining our position or the reason why we decided one way or the other. Why is it that we feel we have to explain and justify our actions or the things we say? Again, it comes down to the question, "Who are the leaders of your household?” The children? We used to feel comfortable saying, “Because, I’m the parent, that’s why.”
Often it is easier to give in…we know that! When we are tired and they are nagging incessantly, we get exasperated and worn down and we cave. We have all caved in…turned our “No!” into an “Alright!” The problem with that is, we’ve let their strategy of wearing us down work…and so they are guaranteed to do it again and again and again!
Remember Thomas Gordon? He claimed that “as parents, we can’t expect to be consistent since unique situations call for unique solutions with your unique children in your unique family environment.” Gordon didn’t get that the Bible states in Psalm 51:5- “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” Children all want their way…we did too! Unfortunately, by focusing on everyone’s “desires”, we just feed into self-absorption and selfishness. We believe, along with Rosemond, that after a child has been raised with leadership, authority and LOVE, there comes a time that you can negotiate and mentor them into making great life decisions on their own.
The basic difference between the Post Modern Psychologists and Rosemond is that Gordon and the others banked on relationship through parenting, whereas Rosemond correctly stresses that leadership will naturally evolve into relationship if done correctly before the teenage years. You can become a mentor and can have a wonderful friendship with your young adult if you have parented with authority and led them through the elementary and middle school years with love and leadership! The relationship will develop out of mutual respect and love...
I apologize for not getting a post done yesterday! I had to prepare for a radio interview but tomorrow I will be writing about Rosemond’s “SEASONAL MODEL OF PARENTING” which is a wonderful perspective on the stages that parenting should go through in order to be effective. Rosemond divides the parenting process into three distinct “seasons” that correlate with particular ages of our children and require three very different roles on the part of parents. Please come back to visit my blog tomorrow and Friday…it is truly eye-opening material. You will walk away with a completely new appreciation for your roles in your families and a new freedom that our society just doesn’t offer in its present-day thinking regarding parenting! See you then…
I told you that some of this would stick in your craw -but, If any of this is ringing true for you, please recommend my blog to other parents who may find this no-nonsense perspective refreshing and helpful! At least, it gives moms and dads something to think about and discuss as they look at different opinions and options for raising their children! As always, I value your comments and feedback...
As promised, the phrases in their entirety, as you probably remember, go like this:
1) "If you can't find something to do, I will find something for you to do..."
2) "Because I said so..."
3) "Good citizenship starts at home..."
4) "You are getting too big for your britches..."
Sound familiar? Oh yeah! And if we are to be honest, we would have to say that despite hearing these phrases on a regular basis, we are none the worse for wear...