This paper is about showing your children that you love them by promoting boundaries. It will explain what kids really want their parents know and understand. This paper also gets down to the basics of how to be a beacon of hope in this dark world. Show how to help our children maneuver through troubling situations by giving them positive values to fall back on. Love is the common thread which binds us together and without love, boundaries and discipline would not succeed the way it is meant to.
This paper looks at different ways to be active at home, how to have a joy-filled home, and how to show the ones who mean the most to you how you feel. It also shows how emotions can affect how we parent. It takes us on a journey through our childhood, so many of our parenting tactics come from how we were parented whether it was good or bad it is what we based our parenting on.
How Parents can Better Love & Understand Their Kids
In this paper we will be discussing different techniques and methods practiced to make home the safe haven it is supposed to be. Some tips are given on how to bring fun and understanding into the home.
White (1998) states, if your family are the most important people in your life¦show them, make your family your priority”strip away the non important things that take away time from them (p. 5). Kids just want to be loved and cherished. They need to feel like they belong somewhere and are special. Parents need to slow down and spend time with their children. We need to be good role models for our own kids. We need to have fun households to show the kids there is more to their music and TV, they can have a good time with the family (p. 37-41).
Talk about goal setting as a family, everyone has an opinion so everyone is included in pitching ideas of they would like to see the family accomplish, positive comments only. Then you need to clarify and organize your agreed-upon goals, and write down ways to accomplish each goal.
You should designate a specific time to reflect and reevaluate your efforts as a family (White, 1998, p. 41-42). White (1998) teaches a listening technique which was taught to him. You begin by telling the person you are going to ask three questions and you will repeat them several times, but they need to give a different response each time. The goal is to get them to discover the solution and work toward applying it (p. 60-61).
We need to be mindful of how we perceive things each person has his or her own view, and it may not match your personal view but we need to realize there is more than one way to do a task.
Also, White (1998) speaks to us about time and how we cherish the moments with our loved ones, making sure our kids are confident & secure in who they are will help them be able to say no to certain things. We need to build up the kids by focusing on the positive and by letting them know they are loved (pp. 85-93).
Not only is it our responsibility to build up our children, but we need to help them dream¦have vision, and help them get to their dreams¦dont be a dream crusher. We may not believe what they do but we need to be supportive.
How to be Positive
Your thinking directly affects your performance get rid of negative thinking. You are what you are, and where you are because of what has gone into your mind (Ziglar, 1989, pp. 18-20). Ziglar says, When you change the input you change the output. We need to stop being so negative if a task is too hard we say we cant do it, we need to encourage our kids and ourselves to push through the tough times (p. 24).
A successful life starts with having a loving and stable relationship with our family. Your attitude affects your outlook on life; qualities to strive for to have success in life are: dependability, friendliness, honesty and a sense of humor (Ziglar, 1998, pp.41-42). Ziglar also said, A solid foundation for children involves a solid moral base meaning¦you need to practice what you preach.
You need to look for and expect good from your children, stop looking at the bad and negative things and look for the good and positive in them and they will bloom (Ziglar, 1998, p. 51). Be specific when you find something good in your child, tell them what it is exactly and continue to lift them up.
Being Available as an Emotion Coach
According to Gottman (1997),
We need to help our kids deal with their emotions by being their emotion coaches and we do that with five steps 1) by being aware of their emotion, 2) recognize the emotion as a time for intimacy and teaching, 3) listen to them and validate their feelings, 4) help label the emotion with words and 5) set limits while finding ways to solve the problem (p.24).
In step one, the focus is on recognizing when you are feeling an emotion, you can identify the feelings, and you are able to be sensitive to emotions in others (p. 76). Step two, when parents can use a negative experience to bring forth bonding with their children it builds intimacy and it teaches them how to deal with their feelings (p.93). During step three, two things take place, listening empathetically and validating the childs feelings. Gottman suggests that this may be the most important step in emotion coaching! Not only are you listening with your ears, but you are using your eyes to look for physical confirmation of the childs emotions.
Parents also use their imagination to see things from the childs perspective. They repeat back what they hear to help the child put words to his or her emotions. Lastly, they use their most precious gift of heart to feel what their child is feeling (p. 94). Step four is putting words to their emotions.
Studies have shown that labeling emotions has a soothing effect on the nervous system, aiding the child to bounce back quicker from upsetting incidents (pp. 99-100). The final step is setting limits and problem solving. This step entails empathizing with the childs feelings as well as discussing what is right and wrong behavior, and then coming up with alternative ways to handle their emotions (p. 101). Generally speaking, according to Gottman (1997),
Children who have parents that practice emotion coaching have better physical health and score higher in academics. They seem to get along better with others and have fewer behavioral problems. Also noted, these children are less prone to act violently and seem to experience fewer negative feelings and more positive ones, and are considered to be healthier on an emotional level (p. 25).
There are results that show when parents use emotion coaching with their kids; there are buffering effects on children whose families are having difficulty and/or divorce. Another find from research shows that fathers who incorporate emotion coaching in parenting have an extremely positive impact on their childrens emotional development (Gottman, 1997, p. 26).
There are four types of parenting styles; depending on your style as a parent the effects can be detrimental to the childs well-being. The styles are being dismissive, disapproving, laissez-faire, and the emotion coach.
In the dismissive style, the childs feelings are thought of as not important or trivial. The effect on the child is that he or she learns that their feelings are wrong or not valid. They feel that something is wrong with them as a person because of how they feel (p. 50). The disapproving style, judges and criticizes the childs emotional expression as well as view emotions as weakness. The effect on the child is that he or she learns that their feelings are wrong or not valid. They feel that something is wrong with them as a person because of how they feel (p. 51).
The laissez-faire style, does not teach the child about emotions, and offers little guidance on behavior. The effect on the child is he or she does not learn how to regulate their emotions and they have trouble making friends and getting along with others (pp. 51-52). The emotion coach style, does not feel that they have to fix every problem for the child and they respect the childs emotions. The effect on the child is he or she can trust their feelings, solve problems, and get along well with others (p. 52).
Parents need to take their time with their children, get to know them and understand their point of view. By learning to be empathetic listeners, parents can help their children learn to problem solve for themselves, enable their child to soothe themselves and become more well-rounded individuals. Showing empathy is like showing your child your heart. If you can let them know that you understand how they feel, they wont feel down and they will feel confident that their parents care about them at the core of their emotions.
How Love Heals
In understanding the dynamic of parent and child Hendrix & Hunt (1997) use a metaphor describing the relationship as a tapestry of life, meaning they are woven together by the threads and stitches of their interactions with one another (p. 7). They use this to describe the delicate bond between the parent and child. If not careful you can tear and damage that bond. These tears happen when you are not paying attention to the moment, or when you are experiencing emotional pain yourself (Hendrix & Hunt, 1997, p. 8).
The focus of the message given by Hendrix & Hunt (1997) is on being conscious in your parenting. This means you are to meet the needs of your child by providing safety, support and structure as your child moves through each stage of development (p. 38).
Hendrix & Hunt (1997) mentioned most parents are unconscious, but they are still good, kind, caring and committed people. They have been wounded and just have not healed into a greater self-awareness and self-acceptance (p.45).
According to Hendrix & Hunt (1997) there are five characteristics to unconscious parenting, it cuts, it cuts the connection between parent and child. It is an inheritance, parents are parenting from their fears and wounds. It is unaware, these parents dont realize what they do to their kids, and they felt cheated so the cycle continues. It causes exaggerated reactions, parents over or under react to what their child says or does. Lastly, it is ignorance, the parent doesnt realize he or she is overreacting to the childs normal behavior (pp. 48-51).
When a parent is ready to become a more conscious parent they need to learn how to listen and talk to their children. Hendrix & Hunt (1997) calls this intentional dialogue; this includes mirroring, validating, and empathizing (p. 106).
According to Hendrix & Hunt, mirroring is when you have listened and repeat back what you believe you heard back to the person. Validating is when you let the speaker know that what they are saying makes sense. Empathizing is shown by recognizing the feelings of others as they explain their point of view (1997, p. 107-108).
There needs to be a commitment on the part of the parent to be open to conscious parenting. Conscious parenting offers safety, support, and structure.
The parent needs to create an environment that 1) is physically safe, 2) is emotionally supportive to the childs growth, and 3) is structured to limits and boundaries (Hendrix & Hunt, 1997, pp.141-142).
According to Hendrix & Hunt (1997), physical safety is the primary requirement of every living thing. The most important way to support a child is by validating how he or she feels. A conscious parent provides clear boundaries and sets limits to reinforce the childs sense of safety and support (pp. 142-143, 153).
No One Gets Me
Dr Sachs is corresponding with one of his patients via letters being mailed to one another in, When no One Understands. This book was his response to what his patient wrote to him. This young lady was troubled and had tried a suicide attempt which is how they met.
During their sessions she remained quiet she did not like to communicate by talking and because Dr. Sachs knew she was creative and a good writer so he decided to offer an alternative to the typical session. This brought her out of her shell a little to where she would talk to him in some sessions but the bulk of the treatment came through their letters. She did grow to trust him more and opened up to him regarding some things she felt her parents just were not getting.
Encouragement and Self Discovery
In, Taste Berries for Teens book series, is chock full of very touching letters from different teens going through different emotional trials. Youngs & Youngs do a great job at reaching out to the youth and giving them an outlet to share their feelings. The purpose of this series is focused on liking yourself. A chance for getting to know and understand yourself on a deeper level. It tells of change and how one changes from year to year (Youngs & Youngs, 2000, p.3).
Cloud & Townsend (1998) brings honest thought to mind when they discuss what kind of future is being created for your child if they are wild and reckless? We are preparing our children for the future (p. 14). There are three roles to being a parent, 1) guardian, 2) manager and 3) source.
The guardian is legally responsible for the child and is his or her protector. The manager makes sure things get done and goals are reached, this role is a disciplinarian one. The source, the parent is the source of all good things (Cloud & Townsend, 1998, pp. 19-21).
According to Clod & Townsend (1998) parents need to teach reality principle, which introduces true reality consequences such as not going to a movie because the room was not cleaned; it does not include negative relational consequences such as nagging or fussing. The child needs to feel the consequences not the parent (pp. 58-61).
Clinton & Sibcy talk about overprotecting, overindulging and over controlling your kids and how these can harm the child.
Parents need to exercise balance we are to protect our children but when we over protect we damage their spirit and deter them from becoming the strong, independent adult they should be. Over controlling parents mean well, they want their child to succeed, but they push them to perfectionism and these children are afraid to fail.
The over indulging parent may suffer from feelings of guilt but children need structure and in this case the child can become insecure, irritable and bored (p. 9-13). There is a healthy balance and it is the parents job to find it. Honestly it begins with love and respect, some have to learn that but it is give and take. If you dont show the children these qualities, they cannot give it back to you.
I would just like to conclude by saying that I enjoyed this research and this topic were fun to delve into and I hope to use some of these techniques in my own home to help improve my relationship with my family communication is so important but the most important thing that I emphasize is that it all must be done in love and with love to work. You can bark orders and commands all day long but you and your children will suffer from the lack of love and respect.
Clinton, T., & Sibcy, G. (2006). Loving your child too much: Staying close to your kids without overprotecting, overindulging, or overcontrolling. Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers. Cloud, H. & Townsend, J. (2001). Boundaries with kids. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. Gottman, J; (1997). The heart of parenting. New York, NY; Simon & Schuster Hendrix, H; Hunt, H; (1997). Giving the love that heals a guide for parents. New York, NY; Pocket Books. Sachs, B; (2007). When no one understands. Boston, MA; Trumpeter Books. Youngs, B; Youngs, J; (1995). Taste berries for teens #3. Deerfield Beach, FL; Health Communications, Inc. White, J; (1998). What kids wish parents knew about parenting. West Monroe, LA; Howard Publishing Co, Inc.
Ziglar, Z; (1989). Raising positive kids in a negative world. New York, NY, Ballentine Books.