Hello from beautiful Montana:
Would you like to build confidence in your parenting skills? Do you sometimes wonder if your family relationships are on a roller coaster. One day the kids seem responsible, kind and thoughtful individuals and the next they disrespectful, defiant and rude. They push against the rules and boundaries and try your patience.
Don’t Be Discouraged, Be Consistent
We tend to think that teaching and discipline is like a diagonal line on a graph moving onward and upward. However, raising responsible children is more like the ocean tide. We move forward, we retreat, move forward once more, fall back. But we are always there.
The falling back and regrouping our strength and power can be discouraging to parents. The way to think about it is to envision the incoming tide. Then you can more easily see that after a falling back comes the moving forward. Each time we do that we are a little ahead of where we were previously.
There Are No Perfect Families
As humans, we tend to see ourselves at our worst and others at their best. Comparing our children, ourself or our situation with others will only lead to discouragement. Each family has unique problems and different battles to win. Look at your efforts and family with a loving attitude and a forgiving heart.
Understand that your children are not the symbol of your success in life. You can suggest, influence and give tools for improvement but you can never force another human being to change. Accepting others where they are is a basic principle for personal growth and self improvement in family relationships.
The only real tool in our parenting backpack to encourage positive action in our family which we have direct access is our own behavior. Children will be more willing to change and adapt more responsible attitudes when they see the important adults in their life assuming personal responsibility.
Consistent Guidelines and Unconditional Love
Once parents understand and grasp the notion that by changing our own behavior we can influence the unacceptable behavior, life gets much easier.
Like the tide ever moving towards the shore it has consistent actions. We can count on it ebbing and flowing. We want to be consistent in our expectations so the family knows what the boundaries are. Children need to know you will always love them unconditionally but may not approve of their actions.
As we encourage and support their positive actions and help them to understand the consequences for crossing the boundaries, they are better equipped to self govern.
Our love for our family and for ourself should not be dependent on behavior, but rather unconditional and never ending.
I have confidence in you that you will make wise choices for your family. You will learn new and more effective parenting skills and incorporate them in your life.
If you need additional assistance in order to build confidence in your parenting skills, you are invited to go to:
You will be glad you did.
Judy Helm Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author and speaker
PS: You will also want to check out