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Unconditional Parenting

Making Sense of the Parenting Roller Coaster:
How to Remain Steadfast through the Ups and Downs

Unconditional Parenting

by Mikki Hogan

Parenting is a tough job. It requires your full-time dedication, and not just 60 hours in a week. You'll also get to multi-task and assume many roles and duties that go with the title:

You are a guardian,
a counselor,
a best friend,
a mediator,
a provider,
a disciplinarian,
a playmate
and a confidante
rolled into one. At times, parenting can overwhelm you so much that you can feel like giving up - especially when your children misbehave.

If you're looking for ways to make sense of the parenting roller coaster, you've come to the right page. Here, you'll uncover a few approaches to help you remain steadfast in your parenting duties in the many events when your children exhibit defiant behavior.

Parenting One Day at a Time
unconditional parenting

Imagine maintaining your garden. If you only water the plants, trim the grass and pull out weeds once a month, you will get exhausted and the result of your hard work won't be that pleasing: some flowers would have died of neglect already. However, if you spend 20 minutes everyday to tend your garden, you will get pleasing results at less than a third of your energy. This is how parenting ought to work.

Raising your children is a daily process; so don't forget to live one day at a time. Today, your child might be the monster who snapped back at you. Tomorrow, your child could be the perfect angel.

Weed out bad habits one by one, and do not neglect to praise your child for every good deed done. Harbor no ill feelings, grudges or resentments; these silent battles can burn you out just as badly as violent outbursts. Let the day's end provide closure to your interactions.

Setting Goals
unconditional parenting

Parental goals may seem like an easy concept to grasp. However, a 2006 online survey by 43things.com reveals that only 4 percent of the 13,660 parent-respondents knew exactly what to expect from and work for when raising children.

Aubanova, in a January 2007 online report, writes:

In parenting there are three variables: parents, children and their relationship. The goal -to be a good parent - focuses only on one side of the equation, on parents, leaving the other two important variables out. Therefore we have so many helpless parents trying to find balance between their love and discipline, not knowing what to do with their uncontrolled children.

Goal setting is not just about building a family or learning to keep it. It is also about setting the direction of your relationship. As a parent, you should know what you want to achieve by yourself and with your child. You may wish to keep a combination of short-term and long-term goals in your list. Here are some examples of parental goals you may want to work on:

Personal Goals:

o Attend a parenting course.
o Avoid raising my voice when I get angry.
o Hug my children after I give them a lecture.
o Praise and appreciate my children with every chance available.
o Remind my children of their chores only once in three days.

Shared Goals with Your Children:

o End each argument with an exchange of "I love you's."
o Apologize to each other.
o Complete chores on the set time or date.
o Declare weekends as zero-fight and zero-tantrum days.
o Make politeness the watchword in all interactions.

Keeping Your Mind Clear and Your Heart Open

unconditional parenting

Parenting is a lifelong educational journey. You cannot really move forward if you close your mind and your heart after each bad day with your children. If you think being a parent gives you the right to lecture on the misbehaving child 24/7, you're wrong. Sometimes, children misbehave just to catch your attention or just to get you to listen to them. If there is something your child ultimately wants from you, that something is unconditional love.

In his book "Unconditional Parenting," Alfie Kohl posits that unconditional love is a far more effective approach to tempering your child's defiant behavior than the conventional reward-and-punishment scheme. He says that despite your best intentions, the conventional reward-and-punishment approach could send your children the wrong message: that they have to earn your love by pleasing you.

Do not withhold your affections as a form of punishment whenever your child does something bad. Strive to remain the rational and loving parent that you ought to be. Unconditional love coupled with a perceptive mind will make your not-so-good parenting moments a lot easier to handle.


About the Author:

Mikki Hogan is a proud mom of 7 children with four still remaining at home. She enjoys home-schooling her children and building her business online as an internet publisher. Her hobbies include reading a good book and writing a fun story to share with the kids.


CONSISTENT PARENTING AND DISCIPLINE
how to discipline children How to Discipline Children

Children learn best by being given clear firm and consistent direction from parents who are clear, firm and consistent in their approach.

The loving, respectful relationship that we grow with our children right from the start makes it possible for us to guide them toward positive behaviour. It is about setting up trust and guiding our children toward being able to make good choices for themselves.

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