18 January 2010

Respect and Love

"Parenting is not about controlling our children through consequences and directives. These are fear-based parenting techniques that teach our children to be reactive out of fear. Parenting is about influencing our children through love and understanding. This teaches our children to respond out of love. Thus, true control comes through loving influence." - Heather T. Forbes

How many of us truly understand this? We are so used to seeing the fear based model. We probably even grew up in the fear based model. We all know that adults are more important then kids, that kids should "do as I say, not as I do." I wonder how much of teenage rebellion is actually driven by the use of fear based parenting techniques. Just think, a child who is almost old enough to be an adult, to make their own decisions, still being controlled by an outdated set of fear based rules. We would never think to use those rules on an adult, and yet we use them on teenagers.. what age is the age when we should stop using fear based parenting techniques and start treating them as an adult? Where do you draw that fine line?

The answer is obvious.. we should learn to treat children with as much respect as we do our neighbor, our boss, our parents... When we can learn to respect children as the people they already are, then we can start to teach them the things that we want them to know. When we learn to respect children as the people that they already are, then we can start to support them to follow their dreams and become the successful people we want them to be. When we learn to treat our children with respect for the people they already are, then we can look forward to a world of peace, that reaches out it's loving hands to help, instead of bullying.

What kind of a world are you raising your child(ren) to create. Instead of asking what legacy you are leaving them, today ask what world you are creating by the way you treat the children around you.

Want to learn more? Try Dare to Love: The Art of Merging Science and Love Into Parenting Children with Difficult Behaviors -By Heather T. Forbes, or one of my all time favorites, Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, Energetic -By Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

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