Friday, August 28, 2009

An excerpt from Parenting with an Attitude...21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

August 28, 2009

Avoiding the mistakes our parents made with us
"While it may at times be a difficult task emotionally for many of us to tackle, it is important in our parenting efforts to look at and to consider how our parents raised us. While we may have grown up vowing to avoid making the same mistakes with our kids that they made with us, it can be an easier promise made to ourselves than it is to actually keep. Simply stated, it is important-especially for new parents just starting out-to consider and evaluate the job our parents did with us. What did they do well, and what did they do that may not have been done so well? How were we affected, and how was our relationship with them impacted? Only then are we able to, 'take the best and leave the rest'. Take advantage of books, friends, professionals, as well as your own instincts, to create the most effective style of parenting for your kids. It can even be helpful to draw from your parents and how they raised you. But to either blindly apply, or to blindly reject their efforts will not serve you well in your quest to be a successful parent."

Ed Wimberly, Author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Succcessful Parents Ask Themselves

Discussion questions

1. How did the mistakes your parents made with you affect your
relationship with them?
2. Do the mistakes they made when you were growing up affect
you now?
3. Do you ever find yourself making some of the same mistakes
with your kids that your parents made with you?
4. If you do, how do those mistakes you are repeating with your
kids affect your relationship with them today?
5. Do you remain a victim of the mistakes your parents made, or
do you feel you have let go and moved on?
6. Have you forgiven them for any mistakes they may have made
as your parents?
7. If not, what do you think it would take for you to forgive

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Monday morning thought for good parents who want to be better parents

August 24, 2009
“While we must be diligent in protecting our kids from harm of any kind, it is also important that we recognize when our efforts to do so have gone beyond simply providing appropriate security, to a futile effort of creating guaranteed safety”.

Ed Wimberly, Ph.D., author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Friday, August 21, 2009

An excerpt from Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

August 21, 2009

Am I motivated as a parent by guilt?
"Understandably no parent wants to be motivated and manipulated by their feelings of guilt. However, if our kids realize just how strongly we may want to avoid those feelings, we become
easy prey and will be handily manipulated by them. Pleasing and constantly gratifying our kids for the sake of avoiding the feeling of guilt that may come when we say 'no' does not a good parent make.

We simply cannot afford to be influenced by our own need to avoid feeling guilty. Being the parent our kids need does not always mean being the parent they want. We can’t always be the good guy. That means sometimes saying no, sometimes not pleasing them, even though we may be left feeling guilty because we have deprived them. Naturally, this can bring about occasional and illogical feelings of guilt in the best of us, but we must avoid being shaped and driven by those feelings."
Ed Wimberly, Ph.D. author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Discussion Questions
1. If your parents used guilt to motivate you when you were
young, how did it affect your relationship with them?
2. If they did use guilt in an effort to motivate you, did it work?
3. In addition to affecting your relationship with them, in what
other ways were you possibly shaped by their use of guilt?
4. Do you ever find yourself, as a parent, being motivated by your
own guilty feelings with your kids?
5. If you do, what are some possible negative results of your being
motivated by guilt in your parenting?
6. If your kids are able to manipulate you through guilt, what
are some possible consequences to their overall growth and
emotional development?

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Monday morning thought for good parents who want to be better parents

August 17, 2009
“Chronic anger in kids usually goes hand in hand with undue dependence on us, so raising kids who are not angry spirited requires that we encourage them from the beginning to be independent and self-reliant”.

Ed Wimberly, Ph.D., Author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

An Excerpt from Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

August 11, 2009

Parenting by guilt-it works, but does it really?
"Motivating and shaping our kids is certainly an important part of being a good parent. And instilling a sense of right and wrong-helping to influence and shape their conscience development-is also a big part of our task as parents to our kids. But what means we use to motivate them will play a vital role in how they grow up viewing and valuing themselves in their world.

If our efforts to shape and to motivate them brings about immediate desired changes but at the same time creates in them unhealthy patterns of guilt-motivated behaviors, then we run the risk of 'winning the immediate battle, but of losing the war' in the long run.

If on the other hand, we value and strive for not only appropriate behavior change in our kids, but for the healthy and productive shaping of their character and conscience as well, then we must find constructive and growth producing ways of challenging them without employing the destructive use of guilt. Since our goal is to raise great, healthy and angry-free kids, there is simply no place for the use of guilt in our parenting tool box."

Ed Wimberly, Ph.D., author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Discussion Questions:
1. Did your parents use guilt to get you to do what they wanted?
2. If they did use guilt to motivate you, how were you affected as
a child?
3. Does the fact that that they used guilt (or not) have an affect
now—on your life as an adult?
4. Do you use guilt to get your kids to do what you want? If so,
how does it seem to be affecting your relationship with them?
5. How does your use of guilt seem to be affecting them in their
relationships with others?
6. If you consistently use guilt with your kids and want to change,
what are some other ways you could motivate them?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Healthy marriage characteristic #4

Both are quick to laugh at life, and at themselves as well.

They say that laughter is good for the soul. While this is certainly true, I suspect that laughter is good for our marriage as well. At the risk of sounding a bit pessimistic however, it seems to me that as we grow older, it can become more difficult to find the humor in life-as well as the humor in our marriages-the humor that in our youth, we might have found with great regularity.

Or maybe there is a better way of saying this: as time passes and the seriousness of life increases, these inevitable life circumstances can overshadow many of the things that at one time we found so much humorous pleasure in.

I’m really not a pessimist and I do find lots of life experiences that are worthy of a laugh or two. I must confess however, that as I grow older I have to be a bit more dedicated in my search for the funny moments in life. And I think that most would agree with me that as they age (something most of us are doing!) they too have to work a bit harder to find the humor in life to laugh about.

Husbands and wives who are in healthy and vibrant marriages are intentional in their efforts to keep the machinery of laughter well oiled and often used. While they may have to overlook and peer beyond some of the natural heaviness that can happen as they age, (work, health, family conflicts, disappointments, failures, and of course, the national news to name but a few), they are usually quite successful at laughing out loud-and often-with each other.

Most of us are drawn to people who can laugh at themselves from time to time. Possibly an even more difficult challenge than finding life circumstances to laugh at and about together, is being able to actually laugh at ourselves when it is appropriate and called for. Not only do men and women who are a part of a healthy marriage laugh more in general, they also seem to be able to laugh at themselves, and to allow the other in on the “fun at their expense”, so to speak. Each is careful, though to distinguish between laughing at, and laughing with, the other person. Somehow they are able to detect with regular success when their laughing in response to the blunders, imperfections and glitches of the other is welcomed and appropriate, and when it is not.

It seems that emotionally healthy and well balanced children have learned the knack for doing just that at a very early age; they have somehow learned that it is ok and even appropriate to find a little humor in their own occasional slips and goof-ups. I doubt that for most of us human beings, laughing at ourselves comes naturally, but rather, it is learned at an early age and then needs to be practiced as we grow older.

So not only is laughter good for the soul, it is very good for the health and well-being of our marriage as well.
Ed Wimberly, Ph.D.