Do you feel as if you are always yelling at your children and they just don’t listen?
Do you feel distant from your children? As if you are wounding their spirit every time you correct?
Are you wondering how to navigate this road of parenting without anger? Without that feeling of distance?
Do you want to connect and correct at the same time?
If so, this is for you…..
“There is no such thing as adoption or foster care without loss.”
“As a result, our children have some unique histories and unique needs, and because of this they will need parents who have a unique approach in order to help them connect in a relationship and begin to heal.”
Your child needs a high degree of structure and a high degree of nurture.
The authoritarian parent offers a high degree of structure with a low degree of nurture.
The permissive parent offers a high degree of nurture with a low degree of structure.
The best is a balance of both.
How do you know which way you lean? Here’s a short check list from The Connected Child to help you determine.
You’re Too Permissive and Lenient if…
- You make rules and promises and don’t enforce them
- You nag, nag, nag but don’t enforce.
- You wait too long to enforce and then explode in anger.
- You beg your child to cooperate.
- Your child is the one who decides if and when things get done.
- You ask your child “What do you want?” more often than you tell him what has to happen.
- You allow your child to physically harm you or others.
- You often pretend you don’t notice misbehavior or disrespect.
- Your child encounters no negative consequences for cursing or bad-mouthing you.
- Your child doesn’t take your word seriously.
- Your child talks disrespectfully to you.
You’re Too Strict and Controlling if…
- You tell your child “No” more frequently than you praise him.
- You tell your child “No” more frequently than you show him affection.
- You constantly tell your child what to do and don’t give him the opportunity to make choices or compromise.
- You shut down your child’s expressions of sadness or disappointment .
- You ignore or belittle your child’s point of view.
- You use punishments, shaming and insults to gain your child’s compliance.
- An hour doesn’t go by without you finding fault with your child.
Obviously, your child needs correcting. We can be too permissive and let our child run all over us. A parent out of control is a child in control. Kids need adults who are in control. It makes them feel more secure. If we connect and correct at the same time, it’s possible to attach securely. What does this look like? First and foremost, there should not be any anger in correction and save your yelling for when your child runs toward the road or a swimming pool with no floats on. Your child will take it more seriously then. Plus anger and yelling wounds an already wounded spirit. Or for those street smart kid, stuck in survival mode, it gives him the upper hand. He knows he can control Mom or Dad. Then it becomes a battle of the wills. Or a battle of his past with your’s.
When you need to correct, take a breath. A long deep one and think, is this a mountain or a molehill? Do I need a gnat gun or an elephant gun? Does this need a “try that again with respect ” or “are you asking for a compromise?” Think about your goal, do you want your child to succeed and make progress or do you want him to feel punished? If it is punished, then expect the opposite of connection on his part (and your’s too). There are days when we cycle through separation and connection. I understand that. We can’t control our children’s reactions to our parenting, but we can control how we parent.When we have to correct with a command, we can follow it up with praise. We don’t have to withhold our love or frown when correcting. Not every command requires a mean face.
The best way to look at it is through the lens of our relationship with God. Ever since sin entered the world and separated us from Him, he has tried to reconnect. He offered the life of His Son so we could be in relationship with Him. That has always been His goal. He connects and corrects, always offering a path back to His loving arms. Back to relationship. He says, I am here for you, no matter what. That should be the message we send to our kids. We are here. Yes, you needed some correction, but the connection is not lost because of that. It is possible to connect and correct.