Inasmuch as we want to get things done, our failure to chart our course, gets us nowhere. We need to be proactive and not reactive in our approach to parenting. That is where objective parenting comes in. We plan what we want to happen and then set sail. The basic thing we need to begin with is having a set of rules and an explanation of why they need to be followed. We are all different and establishing rules help us to continue to be different but not to the extent of endangering someone else. Most if not all of the time, they should be established for the benefit of all.
This reminds me of one of the stories under the Joy of Obedience and Order module in Joy School. There was a family of monkeys. One of their rules was to dispose of the banana peel properly. One day, one of the monkeys threw his peel on the floor. As a concequence he slipped and bumped his head.
There are two principles we learn from this simple story.
First, that rules are there to keep us safe.
Second, disobedience can bring its own painful consequences.
This is but an example of objective parenting. We don’t set the rules as parents because we are the “most powerful” but because we want all of us to be safe and happy. There will be many rules along the way and there’s a how to guide on establishing rules in the home democratically . I will have to write about them in another post.
As with any lesson taught, consistency and living by example is key. If we are not consistent, we are going to confuse the kids about the rules. This is where tough love comes in.
Through the years, if I wanted to teach my children a habit, a virtue, practically any lesson, they have got to see it from me. I once came across a saying, “Your actions speak so loud, i can’t hear what you’re saying.” Again, example is key. You don’t have to be perfect. Sometimes, acknowledging that like them you are also trying, not only makes striving a family endeavor but an example of humility and reliance on Divine help in overcoming a weakness and working towards learning a virtue and that you are all in that process of refinement only on different levels at different stages of your lives. Nonetheless, it conveys that you are all a work in progress. 🙂
I could go on and on about objective parenting but it wouldn’t even be half of what I’ve read, taught and experienced. Like everyone else, it is my first time to be a parent. However, I have received help from these sites: (if it doesn’t take you to the parenting articles, just use the search button and type in “parenting”)
Articles, videos and crafts useful for parenting children of all ages
Parenting site by the Eyres
Eyres’ free and downloadable parenting books (of course during my time, I read books and had to find a used copy in book sale. I like the one near University of Asia and the Pacific because they were arranged like they would in a library only with no call numbers)
Books that are really helpful as you raise your children:
Teaching Children Joy (toddlers)
Teaching Children Responsibility (elementary aged children)
Teaching Children Values (high school)
There are other books that are available online for free. Just check the link above.