By Jim and Michele Aspinall
Based on Work with Author and Psychologist, John Rosemond
Most believe that for any problem there is a right method or technique to solve it. Are your children misbehaving? Just get a good parenting book. Need advice on how to discipline your children? A quick Google search is sure to yield numerous blog posts and videos on parenting. Sift through all the parenting techniques available, and choose a method that is appropriate for your child’s age, the duration of problem, etc. Problem solved? Not exactly.
1) The Relationship
The Parent-Leader and the Child-Disciple
- You act like you know what you’re doing (You are decisive).
- You act like you know where you’re going (You have a vision that guides your decisions).
- You act like you know what you want your child to do (You are assertively direct: you don’t beat around the bush when it comes to giving instructions).
- You act like you know your child is going to obey and/or live up to your expectations (You are positive, optimistic, self-assured, and inspiring: you bring out the best in people).
- He knows he can rely on his parents (trust).
- He looks up to his parents (respect).
- He follows their lead (obedience).
- He subscribes to their values (loyalty)
2. The Talk
Communicating effectively as a Leader
- Parent-leaders are masters of inspiring, authoritative speech (what Rosemond calls Alpha Speech). When they talk, no one doubts that they know what they’re talking about. They say what they mean and mean what they say.
- Parent-leaders know what they are doing (or at least act like it): their decisions arise from conviction, not reaction, and can be relied upon.
- They tend not to give explanations for the decisions they make, and when they do express their rationale, they do so concisely (When someone in a position of authority explains the reason behind an executive decision, he runs the risk of conveying that he’s not quite sure of himself).
- The fewer words a parent gives when giving instructions or conveying expectations, the more likely it is that the child will obey.
- This highlights the 4 most powerful words in parenting: “Because I said so”. This is a statement of leadership. You are simply saying to your child that, as an adult here, I do not need to justify my answer to you.
3. The Nourishment
Is Your Child Getting Enough Vitamin N?
- Turn their world right side up by giving them all of what they truly need, but no more than 25% of what they simply want.
- Don’t do for your children what they are capable of doing themselves. Say, “You can do that on your own.” This encourages the growth of perseverance and self-sufficiency. When the child says, “I can’t,” don’t argue. Just say “Well, I won’t.” You’ll be amazed at how creative and resourceful children can be under the right circumstances.
- Don’t always rescue them from failure or disappointment. Remember that falling on one’s face can be an invaluable learning experience.
- Remember that just because a child doesn’t like something doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen or exist. For children to grow up requires that parents resist the temptation to constantly protect them from the discomfort of having to divest dependency.
- Don’t worry about treating children “fairly.” Remember that, to a child, “fair” means “me first” with the biggest and best of everything.
- Don’t overdose your children emotionally by giving them too much attention or too much praise. If you pay too much attention to your children, they have no reason to pay attention to you.
Published with permission by Countryside Montessori school in Northbrook, Illinois