Sunday, May 25, 2014



Wrong? Me? What do you mean ‘wrong’?

While we genuinely try to do our best as parents, I think we would all agree that sometimes we do get it wrong.  We know it is our responsibility to be fair, to give equal love, attention and protection to each of our kids, but we can't always account for the variables like tiredness, frustration and irritation that are often present in our lives.

Sometimes we jump in before we know all the facts or we issue a consequence which is unfairly harsh.  Sometimes we lose our temper or are inconsistent with our discipline, leaving our kids confused.  Perhaps we favor the child who causes no trouble while constantly jumping all over our strong-willed child.  There are times we use our kids as sounding boards for our own worries and our kids become stressed because they don't like to see us sad or afraid, yet are far too ill-equipped to know how to comfort or fix their situation.  Perhaps we create expectations that are too high, or worse still, have low expectations for our children.

Sometimes we need to tell our children we are sorry.  No doubt there was some transgression that caused the altercation in the first place and they need to know that.  However, we may need to apologize for the way we responded.

When we acknowledge our mistakes (where appropriate) to our kids, they will also learn how do deal with inappropriate responses as they grow older and have their own families.  The main thing is to learn what it is that causes us to deal with our kids unfairly and to act proactively so as not to repeat the wrongs.

Take heart!  We all feel inadequate as parents on many occasions.  Fortunately, our kids are pretty resilient and as long as we are right a lot of the time, they are not usually unduly affected.  When we have strong family values, each person in the family knows the expectations and boundaries.  Knowing the consequences to negative behaviors means they learn to make wise decisions.  With praise, open affection and support our children are more likely to grow up with a positive and caring attitude and become great parents themselves.

Written by Sally Burgess

The best method of prevention is to create a set of family values. These values cover all aspects of family life and provide a set of expectations for the family to respect one another as well as live peaceably in the world around them.

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