Be a ‘Plugged-In Parent’: 5 Steps to Being a Functional Parent Even If You Grew Up in a Dysfunctional Family
Sunday, January 13th, 2013
Author Terri Fedonczak has been a certified Martha Beck life coach for 22 years specializing in parents and teens, and she’s the founder of a really cool organization called Girl Power for Good. She’s full of great advice for parents, so I’m just going to shut up now and let her give it:
“I wrote the Field Guide to Plugged-In Parenting, Even If Your Were Raised by Wolves to help parents like me who have had to parent by the seat of their pants because their family of origin didn’t give them a model to follow. My parents put the “D” in dysfunctional, and I knew that I wanted a different experience for my kids. I see parents who are stressed out by the sheer volume of daily choices, and they want a better way to make them. The book describes the plan I developed to create amazing kids based upon a family values-focused system, using long-term goals as the guiding force to making short-term decisions. I’ve reduced the big stew down to a couple of bites to help you refine your parenting plan and begin plugging into your family:
5 Steps to Being a Functional Parent Even If You Grew Up in a Dysfunctional Family
1. Develop your list of family values.
What is most important to you about being a parent? If you don’t have a list, think about the characteristics of the perfect friend. Then distill those characteristics down to their most essential trait, like loyalty, honesty, kindness, generosity…and so on.
2. Take your list of traits in Step One and look into the future.
Develop a vision of your child as an adult at some momentous occasion; maybe she’s giving a speech as the class valedictorian or at another ceremony of great import. What would she say about you as a parent?
3. Make your daily parenting decisions based upon what you want your future adult child to say about you.
Live today in a way that will shape that future success story. This is especially true of discipline. Make rules based upon what is important to your family values, not what’s trending on Twitter.
4. Be consistent. “No” is a complete sentence.
If your kids are little, put the locks on the cabinets and plugs in the sockets, so that you can reserve “No” for unacceptable behavior. If your kid has a meltdown at the store, and you threaten to take them home, follow up on that threat. Leave the groceries and go home. Consistent discipline is more important than a miffed store manager.
5. Be flexible for everything else.
Let the little stuff go. You can have a clean house, perfect dinner and empty laundry basket in a future stage, when your child can help you with all these chores. That being said, your little ones can do a lot more than you think. Giving them chores early, and making them fun, is a great way to teach responsibility. Take the time you save with adjusted expectations and spend it on self-care.
Plugged-in Parenting is a spiritual practice that makes life more joyful. If you practice self-care and use long term goals to guide daily actions, you can build a parenting plan that makes you feel connected to your kids, thereby developing a relationship built upon mutual love and respect.”Add a Comment