Do You Know Your Children
Can a youngster who naturally loves to live on the edge be taught to make better choices? I don’t believe you have a chance if you rigidly use one size fits all kind of parenting. Do you know your children? The recent crazy facebook arguement about the color of a dress illustrates an important truth. Everyone comes into the world with different ways of seeing.
For another illustration of this difference in perceptions check out the 1992 movie, “The River Runs Through” directed by Robert Redford. The movie, based on Norman Maclean’s memoir tells the story of two brothers growing up in a parsonage in rural Montana. The differences between the boys’ perceptions lead to dramatic outcomes because of the choices they made.
Children learn best through guided experience. Encourage your children to tell you what they have learned from an experience. Telling them what they should have learned or punishing them for bad choices often makes them more determined to make their own destructive choices. Don’t rescue them from natural consequences that followed bad behavior. They need to learn reckless driving, for example, means no more access to car keys for awhile.
Focusing on relationship must begin early.
“surely you realize”
“why don’t you ever learn”
“how many times do I have to tell you”
“what were you thinking”
“how did it turn out”
“what are you learning”
“how can I help you remember”
The younger children are when you start doing this, the better they get at suggesting appropriate natural consequences. They are much more likely to learn how to make better choices.