Tuesday, January 28, 2014


So often we, as parents, struggle in our efforts to successfully lead our families.

Here are some of the reasons why:

With us…
  • We get the impression that other families are working way better than ours.
             Maybe they are, but maybe we are only seeing them outside their house. Families
             that are working well together look and act happy inside and outside their home. 
             The children from these families are respectful to one another and behave well with 
             and without their parents being around.

  • We may have chosen a marriage partner whose beliefs, expectations and methods of 
             parenting are radically different from ours.

             In this case, we need to take all the necessary steps to find common ground for the sake 
             of the whole family.

  • We made the mistake of throwing money at our kids instead of giving them the necessary 
            affection, time and love.

             Kids don’t value stuff as much as they value our time and attention.

  • We got caught up in the myth that if we work excessive hours we can give our kids 
             a better life.

             See comment above.

  • We tried to be a friend to our kids and not a parent.
             Kids don’t want you to be their friend. They want you to lead, to teach them how 
             to act and to be their role model.

  • We thought that if we said 'No' to our child they would not like us.
             Kids want boundaries. They may appear not to, but boundaries give them security 
             because they know you care.

  • We used our own parents’ model for parenting, not realizing there was any other way.
             If you thought your parents gave you the love guidance and discipline, and you are getting 
             excellent feedback from others, then that modeling is fine. However, if you are not getting 
             the desired results, you need to get help and training so that you can model and teach more 

  • We never made our core family values clear to our kids or maybe hadn't even clarified 
             them in our own minds.

             It is vital to harmonious, effective parenting to create a list of principles or values you want 
             your family to live by and be known for. Now teach these values.

  • We were never told that it was our job to shape our kids to become extraordinary adults. 
             We thought it was the school’s job!

             It is the parents’ job to train their children to become productive, respectful, responsible 
             and trustworthy adults, who will themselves become great parents.

  • We became a family that was inward looking and somewhat selfish rather than outward 
             looking and selfless.

             We believe that successful families are parent directed, family oriented and outwardly 
             focused. This means that we choose to make a positive difference to those in the community 
             around us.

  • We thought we were admitting failure if we asked for advice.
             Since kids don’t come with manuals, every new parent is facing their role for the first time, 
             with little or no training. It is, therefore, extremely wise for all parents to seek ongoing 
             information and training on how to best manage their families. If not, it is possible to fail.

  • We were slow in getting support for a disability or disorder our child was born with or 
             developed and they missed out on valuable years of expertise that could have changed
             the situation.

             There is a great deal of support and help offered to parents of disabled children. We can 
             only encourage these parents to get all the help they can get for the whole family’s sake.

  • We now see that our thoughts and goals were more on ourselves than on what was best 
             for our kids.

             Once this realization has occurred, it is important to seek help as soon as possible from 
             parenting agencies.

  • One (or more) of our children was born with a strong will or some disorder that shattered 
             our dreams of 'how it might have been'.

             Many families find they have children with either a strong will, ADHD, autism or some 
             other behavioral challenge. Fortunately, there is a great deal of help through schools, 
             community agencies, and programming to help these children lead and fit into normal life.

What others think...
  • There's almost no encouragement along the way or people to give us a 'Hurrah!' 
            when we do things right.
  • People can be so negative and snide, making us feel discouraged and think 
           we must be doing something wrong.
  • Our own parents don't always agree with how we are raising their grandkids!
  • There's so many 'parenting experts' out there. We thought they must know 
            what they are talking about, but their methods were counter-productive.
  • Unlike obtaining a driver's license, there's no training and no test to determine 
           whether we are fit to be a parent.

             It is very important to encourage parents when we see they are doing a great job with 
             their kids. We need to avoid criticism, but rather offer objective help or resources.

'Kids don't come with manuals'. Now isn't that strange? That's the name of a book I wrote and is available from our website. Why don't you buy it today? 'It's never too late!' We have a free e-booklet available with that title on the website, too. Buy a book, get an e-booklet free!

Written by Brian and Sally Burgess

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