Do you worry about doing a "good job" raising your kids? Do you struggle with "how" to accomplish this goal? Does it keep you up at night? If so, keep reading! I recently participated as a guest speaker for a panel discussion about raising teens. Concerns
from parents ranged from drug use to social media's influence. There was a central theme underlying all of their questions: "How do I do this parenting thing right?" We had various experts, from a pediatrician to school counselors all sharing great ideas from their perspective. I have to be honest, I had one phrase that kept popping into my head as each question was answered. As a parenting coach my advice was fairly straightforward: "Be that parent." You know the one who...
Sets a curfew
Expects respectful behavior both in the home and elsewhere
Helps our children set goals for themselves
Calls other parents to make sure there will be parental supervision
Sticks to the consequences they have set
Isn't afraid of our kids being mad at us
Acts as the parent not our child's best friend
Kids need guidelines!
In my coaching practice, I've worked with parents who started out being their child's friend and have come to me for help in dealing with unruly teens who refuse to listen. Remember, our kids need us to be the leader in the family, someone to set expectations, keep them going in the right direction and redirect misbehavior. Our kids may not like it, they'll even push back but that's okay. Here's a little secret I've learned while working with teens: Children feel more secure, confident and loved when their parents make and enforce family rules. Think of your rules as the guardrails along a mountainside road. The rules help our kids stay on the road while exploring life, and they also prevent them from falling off the side of the mountain. Dealing with peer pressure from other parents! I recently had a client who was frustrated because her high school freshman was arguing for permission to do a co-ed sleepover at a friend's house. "Sue" asked me, "Why are parents allowing this?" and "What should I say to him so he'll finally stop arguing about it." This mom is far from a pushover and has no problem saying NO, but as teens do, her's was being relentless. I walked her through the steps I use to help parents build the groundwork for a strong family foundation. We worked on clarifying her vision, values and expectations and then formed that information into family rules that were uniquely theirs. Afterwards, she was very confident and comfortable with her parenting decision despite the pressures from her son and her friends to allow the co-ed sleepover to happen. Peer pressure between parents is real and it's a pain to deal with! Our strength in making parenting decisions comes from a firm family foundation. When the foundation is in place, parenting becomes easier. (Interested in clarifying or strengthening your family's foundation? Let's chat!) I'm not saying any of this will be easy. I named my company "Dare to Parent" for a reason! Daring to do anything means being brave and not backing down when things get hard. Nothing fits that definition more than parenting, am I right?
When things get tough, you can use another trick I teach parents. Use the phrase "In our family..." It may sound simple but it clearly states the standards and expectations for everyone in the family, not just the kids. Our kids will argue the points, but they'll also understand that our parenting decisions are based on something specific and concrete. In fact, I encourage families to sit down together to decide what some of the family values will be. This allows kids to have a voice and promotes "buy in" when the discussion is over. I can guide you through that process. In closing, I want to encourage you to... Dare to speak up. Dare to set rules. Dare to say no. Dare to be that parent.
Interested in building a firm foundation for your family? If so, click here to book a complimentary "Discovery Call" today!