The art of good parenting
By Sylvie. Brinton.
Have you ever wondered what does it take to become a good parent for your defiant child? Are there any recipes that you, as a parent, should be aware of? Or are there things that professionals can do for parents in order to avoid behavior problems in children of all ages? Most likely, all these questions have an answer, whether you like it or not. It is totally up to the parents to adjust their behavior and expectations in the relationship with their children.
One thing needs to be clarified from the very beginning: parents are human and therefore, subject to making errors. There is no such concept as the "perfect parent" simply because nobody is perfect, try is anyone might. There are parents who believe that good parenting is only about placing your child's interest first, before anything else. This kind of parents would feel insulted when labeled as "good enough parents"; their ultimate purpose in the parenting career is to achieve perfection.
But, guess what? Health professionals, especially those specialized in oppositional and defiant child behavior or discipline and behavior problems in children, have one strong piece of advice for all parents: you don't need to be perfect. You don't need to get the problems right every moment of every day for every year of your children's growing lives. "Good enough" parent is quite o.k. as long as you do whatever is in your power to give your child, especially to your defiant child, the very best start to life.
Children need to be taught, as early as possible in life, that they belong to a family. And the best interest of the family as a whole needs to come first. It is also true that before making any decision, parents must consider its impact on children. This is a healthy mentality that would prevent us from creating selfish, "me first" future generations, believing that the world owes them a living. The "children come first" type of mentality is the source of so many cases of behavior problems in children. This could be the mistake made by parents who wanted to be perfect but, instead, they ended up raising kids who refuse to do as they are told, think only of themselves, and not only that they want everything, but they want it now.
But making mistakes is part of the human condition. Nobody is born with ready made parenting skills. They need to be developed in time, following a long ongoing learning process before succeeding. Parents should all welcome mistakes, rather than fear them. Why? Simply because mistakes are a sign of progress. A mistake is a failure only if it leads to giving up. Otherwise, it is merely a learning experience that will make you wiser and better skilled next time. If you are not making any mistakes then, most likely, you are not learning anything new.
Learning from mistakes is in itself a very important lesson about life. Being able to look back at your past, recognize the mistakes you made and that you need to work on changing yourself is a genuine sign of maturity. Constantly putting yourself down with an "I'm no good" attitude is just as bad as the "I have nothing to learn" attitude, especially in relationship with a defiant child. Forgive yourself or your defiant child for your mistakes. In turn, celebrate your successes. The best policy for parents in general, not only for those dealing with behavior problems in children, is to always look for the positives. It is much more important to pay attention to what children do right, not to what they did wrong. Children crave their parents' attention and when parents praise them for a good deed, they will be more eager to do it again and please their parents.
Children subject their parents to an ongoing study. As a general rule, children are watching their parents how they deal with life, how they make decisions, how they cope with adversity, how to believe in themselves and stand up for themselves and their family. Children watch and learn, so you better be good example for them.
About the Author
Your success as a "good enough" parent is determined by whether you did all you reasonably could in order to do the right things and make the right decisions for your hyperactive, often defiant child. And remember that any of the behavior problems in children may be solved providing parents have the right attitude.
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