Friday, October 30, 2009

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

October 29, 2009

Am I appropriately available to my kids?

"Being around our kids as much as is possible and appropriate is a
great start toward our being available to them. But availability requires
more than just physical presence. It takes our willingness to
spend the time and energy to actually tune in to what’s going on in
their lives.
Shaping and influencing your kids—taking that “unfinished
product” and “designing” them to become the healthiest person
they can be—is every parent’s responsibility. An important vehicle
we have for accomplishing this task is your willingness to be available
to them. If you are not around, you will miss the opportunity
to influence them; if you are present but yet not really available
because you are not tuned in to them, then you could still miss
that opportunity.
While meeting their needs for time and attention is essential
to their health and well-being, it is also possible to be excessively
and inappropriately available to them. When parents are constantly
available and believe that “no” should never be an option,
they run the risk that their children will grow up believing the
false assumption that: “Since no one else has needs that are as important
as mine, then the world must owe me something anytime
I demand it.” Needless to say, such an assumption leads to many
other problems."

Discussion Questions

1. Were your parents appropriately available to you when you
were young?

2. How did their degree of availability affect you as a kid growing

3. Is your availability to your kids today appropriate and

4. Do you ever wonder if you are too available to your kids, or do
you need to work on being more available than you are?

5. Do you see any affects in your kids from your being either too
available or not available enough?

6. If you believe you need to make some changes in this area of
availability, what are they?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

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

“If we teach and encourage our kids to ignore, deny, and cover up their feelings and emotions while they are young, in the long run they will be less likely to control how they act on them”.
Ed Wimberly is the author of Parenting with an Attitude...21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Monday, October 5, 2009

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

Monday, October 5, 2009

“Kids who are able to laugh at themselves once in a while tend to have more self-respect and self-confidence than do those who have learned to take themselves more seriously.”
Ed Wimberly, author of Parenting with an attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Healthy marriage characteristic #7

Each consistently checks out their assumptions before acting on them.

Making assumptions in the process of communicating with others is inevitable. And the assumptions we make in everyday conversation are shaped and formed primarily as a result of the many experiences and relationships we have had throughout the course of our lives.

When our assumptions are correct, they serve us well; when they are incorrect (or when they are false assumptions as I will refer to them here), they can wreak havoc in our relationships with others.

As an example, suppose as a child you were constantly challenged by Mom and Dad (criticized, confronted and corrected on your behaviors or attitudes). And to show their displeasure of you, they would consistently withdraw, give you the silent treatment, and generally withhold their love from you for a period of time-perhaps to drive home their disappointment, and to get you to “shape up”.

Today in your current relationship, when you are challenged or in some way criticized, (a natural and inevitable thing from time to time in the best of relationships) you project on to your spouse the rejection and emotional withdrawal that came along with the criticism you received from your parents. As a result, in response to the criticism from your spouse, you react as if you were rejected and actually told you were no longer loved, when very likely, all that happened was that you were in some way challenged or maybe criticized by him/her.

Another example might further clarify the connection between past experiences on our current assumptions:

Suppose as a little girl, your daddy was a consistent help around the house and that you were told that the reason he was so attentive to what needed to be done was that he loved his family so much. This is not a bad or inappropriate message to have heard in and of itself. However, now as an adult woman you are married to a man who…well let’s just say that helping around the home is not exactly his strong suit. While your need for him to be more helpful may certainly be a problem you are justified in addressing, it may be a false assumption that his “task-passive ways” are a reflection of his lack of care and love for you.

If your response to his less than helpful ways is based on your early childhood experience with a daddy who was helpful because, “he loves us so much”, then rather than appropriately addressing the issue of your need for more help, you will likely respond on the basis of the false assumption that…”if he REALLY loved and valued me (the way daddy did) he would be more helpful around here.”

There are two reasons most of us will usually give as a justification for not checking out our assumptions:

First, we are usually convinced that we are right in our assumptions so why bother bringing them up? Over time, this just leads to a further break down in communication, a deepening conviction that our assumptions are true, and a further justification for our reactions.

The second reason is a bit more subtle but every bit as damaging; what if we find out the assumption we hold really is true? “What if her criticism of me really is her way of withholding her love!” “What if his refusal to be more helpful around the house really is his way of saying he doesn’t care much about me?” To hear that our assumptions are actually correct is always painful, but at least then we have reality to deal with, rather than the fears and insecurities we have held privately to ourselves.

So take the risk of checking out your assumptions before acting on them. The results might pleasantly surprise you.

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