The 4 C’s: Confidence, Calmness, Consistency, and Caring

Let your mantra for parenting include the 4 c’s.  Confidence, calmness, consistency, and caring.  Say it over to yourself.  Do any of these words really resonate with you? Do any scare you?  

It is hard to remain confident when you are a parent because, internet. Everyone else seems to have an opinion on how they do things and it is easy to second guess your choices.  If we were to try to make a list of things parents feel insecure about, it would be too long.  But, find your path and stick to it with confidence.  The fact that you are many multiples over of their age gives you the life experience to probably know better.  So, when the kids are whining and about to win you over on that ice cream snack at 4:30pm, remind yourself that YOU are the adult and YOU know better, despite their desperate pleas.  

Calmness is essential in parenting–especially when the kids are testing your patience. If you react, they’ve won.  You need to model being in control in difficult situations and that means staying calm when an injustice happens upon your kid.  Use it as a learning tool and show them how to get through tough situations in grown-up ways.  Like using clear, concise, communication. When you are disciplining your children, do not screech and show them how crazy they are making you.  Speak slowly and in a low timber and make sure they are showing you proper listening (quiet, eyes to eyes, body not moving and facing yours, nod/repeat to show understanding).

Consistency is the third part of this very relevant mantra.  Are you and your partner  (and the other caretakers) able to give the kids the same answer each time to their many varied attempts at thwarting the task at hand?  Kids are known for testing boundaries–its their job, and they are good at it.  But you are the adult and you need to show them that you are able to sick to the right decision for them even when tested.  It’s hard.  But if the answer was no more than one TV show tonight, no pleading, begging, or negotiating should be entertained UNLESS you want to have all your answers questioned with pleading, begging, and negotiating.  And you don’t, so be consistent.

Caring. The last and most important part of the mantra.  Let your love for your children overflow.  Love them for who they are and not what you wish they were.  Show them tenderness.  Give them your attention.  Listen to them.  Hug them.  Relish in their need for you.  Show them what it is like to love and be loved.

Be confident, calm, and consistent as ways to show them how much you care about them.  You are the adult, so act like one…not perfect but looking for solutions for the imperfections because that is what you will one day want your children to do as well.  

We are here to help you actualize this mantra in your home.  If you have found yourself heightened to any of these words, contact us. You are not alone and you will not be judged.  Parenting is really, really hard and good parenting is really, really, really hard.  Why not give your kids your best?  Don’t they deserve it?

 

Leadership or Love: What do Kids Really Need?

I remember a quote that went something like this:  “Kids need to know that you care before they care what you know.”  Are kids aching for love, cuddles, and warmth or are they dying for direction, leadership, and authority?  What do kids need from their parents or educators?  What do they really want?

Their are 4 widely accepted parenting styles: authoritative (aka. tough love), authoritarian, permissive, and neglectful.  Each has its own unique characteristics and each has long-term consequences on the development of your child and on your relationship with your child. 

Neglectful parenting means that the child’s needs are not attended to.  This can include basic, fundamental needs like: not getting glasses if the child cannot see, not feeding the child, or not giving them a warm coat to wear at the bus stop on a freezing cold winter morning. (You are not neglectful if you won’t buy them their desired brand of these items.  More on that in another time.)   Children raised by neglectful parents have trouble in all sorts of relationships in life because they missed out on learning how a healthy, loving, and attentive relationship works.  They also tend to do worse in school because they don’t have support at home to talk about issues they maybe facing or anyone to simply check their homework.  This type of parenting should be an obvious no-no.

Permissive parenting is allowing your child to do what they want. Discipline and boundary setting is very difficult for these types of parents  because they prefer to be more of a friend to their child.  Frequent and/or large bribes are common in this type of parenting.  The long-term consequences of permissive parenting can include insecurity from lack of boundaries and self-centeredness.  “Affluenza” is one direct result of this type of parenting.

Authoritarian parenting sets rules and expect total respect and obedience to this rules.  There is not a lot of room for discussion between parents and kids in this relationship.  If you say “because I said so!” to your children all the time, you maybe this type of parent.  Children raised by authoritarian parenting tend to be shy and anxious and frequently are seen being more rebellious from their parents.

Authoritative parenting is the last, and best, type of parenting. Authoritative parents are clear in setting rules and boundaries and are loving in implementing them.  “I am enforcing this rule BECAUSE I love you”.  Authoritative parents allow for a discussion and explanation of the rules (even though this can be very difficult at times).  Kids raised by authoritative parents tend to do the best in the real world because they learn to communicate, to respect and be respected, and learn ‘why’ such a rule exists.

Conscious parents (and educators) are always considering their own triggers and needs when relating to their kids.  From that awareness they can then act from their kids actual best interests instead of the parents’ needs that are bred from fear and judgement.

(c) 2016, Nurture: Family Education and Guidance