Successful Parenting: It’s More About Mom and Dad Than Kids

Photo Credit: jakarachuonyo via flickr

Parenting is a tough job. The toughest, in my opinion, because it’s 24/7, for the rest of our lives.

I’m biased, though. I’ve not only studied parenting and counseled parents in my private practice for years, but as a mom of six, I’m in full-time, on-the-job training and have been for quite a while.

I’ve experienced trying to apply the parenting skills I’ve learned, only to fail miserably. I’ve seen my good intentions fall by the wayside because I’m too tired, overwhelmed or I’ve just had it!

I’ve had to pick myself back up after making too many mistakes and get going again, and again, and again. Yes, parenting is definitely the hardest job in the world.

The Key to Parenting Success? It’s Not What We Think.

Perhaps the thing that makes parenting hard is that though we all want our children to rise to their full potential—to become contributing members of society, to treat us and the world with respect and love—we all have times when we struggle to know just how to make that happen.

We all desire parenting success, but we weren’t given a parenting “how-to” manual and, each child would need her own manual, even if we were. We’re simply doing the best we can.

Many of us seek help from friends, family, and experts on how to be a parenting success. Whether we need to know how to handle behavioral issues, need discipline techniques that really work, or want to understand how to motivate our kids to seek the best in life, there is a book, advice, or seminar for everything.

It’s good to seek help; we gain new ideas and have new strategies to implement and they often work. At least, for a while.

But the truth is knowing all the discipline techniques or the best strategies for improving behavior is not the key to parenting success. While these things can certainly help, our children don’t truly learn better behavior if we are not modeling that behavior ourselves.

The “do as I say and not as I do” model of parenting simply does not work.

Parenting Success: It’s More About the Parent Than the Child

The most valuable thing I have learned in all my years of practicing and teaching parenting is this: Parenting is more about the parent than the child.

As I like to say, “That’s why it’s called parenting and not childing.”

Children learn best by example. Think about yelling. Have you ever found yourself yelling, “Stop yelling!” to your children? Does it make any sense at all? Do you ever find yourself, in a fit of frustration, trying to teach your child about virtues, like patience, respect, or love?

When we say one thing and do another, the only thing we get is a confused child…

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