Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Which Parenting Method should you Use?


These days, parenting methods are as numerous as the sands of the sea, and it can be confusing to parents who want to do what's best for their children.  Which method will work best?  Which methods are doomed to fail?  After reading many parenting books and through much experimentation, I have realized one truth.  Many parenting methods work for many different people.  There is not one "true" method.  You have to be willing to experiment with what works for your personality, and for your children's personalities.  Personally, I have patched together a parenting method using several different sources and techniques gleaned from books and people, as kind of a "middle road" approach that works well for my particular children.

There is one truth however, that will help ANY parenting method succeed....and that is consistency.  Your parenting methods will fail if you keep switching them around every other day and don't follow through on your rules every time.  If you aren't consistent with whatever method you choose, you will only confuse your children, and they will have a hard time being successful.

This means you and your husband have to be on the same page.  You have to agree on a parenting style and stick to it.  This is not to say you can never change.  But once you have determined what works, be consistent in how you follow through on rules and consequences...and do it together.  Do not undermine each other.  Talk together, plan and agree about your goals, and then put your plan into action.

When changes need to be made, discuss them together, and then WARN the children that you are about to make a change.  Tell them why.  Get them on board with what you are trying to do. Have them make suggestions.  Their "buy-in" will help your whole family in the long run.

Then, when everyone is on the same page, start your new or revised method, making sure to be consistent.  Children can sense weakness in your resolve, and being children, they will try to use that to their advantage, so be strong.  Believe enough in what you are doing that you want to follow through.  Sometimes I have to pray for strength to do this....and it's interesting that it always works.  Every time.

Consistency and love.  Those are the keys to success.  The parenting method is up to you.

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