This season lasts from around age 3 until 13…quite a span of years with a great deal of maturation and change! But take note of how long we are encouraged by John Rosemond to be leaders and authorities in our homes…10 years! It makes a huge difference if we toe the line and really answer that call! We must lead with love and seek to be respected as authorities when our children are young or it will not bode well as they reach their teenage years! We can't be their friends...that will come in time, if we do this right!
The marriage has taken its rightful place in the center of the family again and junior has been taken out of the limelight. Read that again. The marriage is restored to take precedence and the child(ren) is now in the orbiting position. (I will definitely be talking more about this later as well…my husband and I taught a marriage course for years at our church and over that time made some critical observations that I would like to share regarding marriage relationships! But right now, I’m on a roll about leadership and authority in child-rearing!)
With multiple children, moms enlist the help of older children and should learn to fluidly flow in and out of their roles as mother. Here is another critically important point that must be stated: mothers should at this point maintain a high percentage of time and energy in the role of wife once her youngest has entered Season 2! In addition, she needs to reclaim her power and authority in the home, using what Rosemond terms “alpha speech” (relaxed and calm, but firm). She needs to give herself permission to talk to her children with truth and authority, coming out of her crouching micro-management position (which she was in during Season 1) and delegating as an authority figure so her children will learn to respect authority and pay attention to adults. (Single moms, this is equally important for you, if not more so, because you ARE the only authority in the home and your children need to understand that from this point on!)
Ask any school teacher today the following question: Are you dealing “overall” with well-behaved, respectful students who have learned to pay attention in class and understand authority? Is that happening in our schools? Most teachers we talk to say otherwise.
The bottom line is that sometimes we parents have to take stock of our attitudes, strategies and child management skills and realize that we may be fostering an unhealthy environment in our homes. If we are catering to our kids and not putting the ball in their court to step up for themselves when it comes to school work and responsibilities, we are not doing them any long-term favors! It is easier to do for them and get them off the hook than to help them learn to do for themselves and be accountable in many areas of life, increasing in number as they get older. More often than not, the easy way is not the best way! How many of us can relate to that?
Professionals nowadays call this type of parenting “helicopter parenting”. These are the parents that show up in school, college and even in the workplace “doing” everything for their children. It is very unhealthy. They micromanage homework, activities, relationships, college applications, college living situations, job searches, even job interviews! It never ends.
I hate to admit that moms are, more often than not, the culprits! Many moms are undoubtedly scowling at this point as they read, maybe even on the verge of tears. It is hard to hear that we have not done our children any favors by continuing to cater to them way past the time when the season of service should have ended. Nevertheless, if we are honest with ourselves, doesn’t that make sense? We can’t continue to do, do, do for our kids all the way up through high school and beyond! If they never learn, they may flounder at life in general way into adulthood.
If we worship our children, esteem and adore them, and do everything for them, they often get the idea that they don’t have to lift a finger around the house. We have become slaves to our children’s desires and consequently, they have developed attitudes of entitlement that are difficult to break! Chores are one of our most effective ways of teaching our children that their first and foremost obligation is to “Team Family” and later to their communities.
We women do the right thing for the first two years but then we don't stop serving. We allow our children to take, take, take and their desires and perceived "needs" dominate our everyday existence. We have wrongly believed for years that the more attention we pay to our children, the more attention they will pay to us! Even worse: we believe that if we pay more attention to our children, we'll look like better moms to the world. How sad!
Oh there is so much more to share! I don't want to end this here but I must...
If this is resonating with you, tune in again for more of Rosemond’s Seasonal Model of Parenting! It sure made sense to us! And when you think about it, I may have just offered you the most wonderful Mother’s Day present you have ever received. The gift of freedom from micromanaging and the endless "doing" for our children…Ah, what a relief it is!
By the way, if you’d like to hear a fabulous interview on the Family Life Network about motherhood - go to this link: http://www.fln.org/fln-news/podcasts/detail/inside-out-311-mommy-memoirs/ …I was thrilled to be interviewed by Martha Manikas-Foster for her program, “Inside Out” which is available at that link. Check it out!
Until next time!