The foundation for good parenting

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Parents often deal with their kids the way they were disciplined. This may involve archaic notions about parenting that no longer work in today`s world with children

Parents often deal
with their kids the way they were disciplined. 
This may involve archaic notions about parenting that no longer work in
today`s world with children.  It is not
unusual for adults to believe that parenting primarily involves the use of
power and control. In William Glasser`s
book, The Identity Society, he makes
the point that the nature of parenting has changed over the last several


Authority figures
are no longer respected by virtue of the role they play.  Teenagers are no longer compliant merely
because their parents bark out orders. 
Glasser is very pragmatic about this issue.  It`s not a matter of what`s right or wrong
with reference to the values of parenting, it`s what works.  Typically, using control tactics no longer
work with kids.  Many teachers have a
problem grasping this concept.  They
believe that they can coerce kids into doing schoolwork.  It usually doesn`t impact the child.  Parents try to act authoritarian around their
children and it backfires.  Discipline is
about role modeling respect, being firm, setting appropriate limits, and
establishing consequences. 


The most important
step to discipline is creating a positive relationship with a child.  Next, one must educate and coach kids on what
you want them to accomplish.  Developing
autonomy within your children involves coaching and educating them to take
responsibility for themselves.  Respect
must be modeled.  That`s the way things
are within our current cultural setting. 
You can complain about, say it`s not fair, but it`s the reality.  Life is a lot more fun when children like and
respect their parents.   Most children
will do most anything for parents they respect. 
I realize that there are exceptions, and in those cases parents need not
feel guilty for bad parenting.  Some kids
make poor choices regardless of how connected we are to them. 


For parents, “stepping
out of the bubble” may mean viewing the parenting process from a different
perspective.  It may mean giving up the
image of parenting that was established during their childhood.  Sometimes, parents will internalize the image
of parenting that was handed down to them even if that perception was intolerable.  Sometimes caretaking for our kids involves
doing the opposite of what was done to us. 
We need to get in touch with the child within us.  We need to remember what it was like to play
and have fun.  If our childhood wasn`t
fun, then we need to do some grief work and vow to make things different with
own children.  If our inner-parent is
critical, we will most likely have unrealistic expectation for our
children.  We need to listen to the
inner-critic and let it speak.  We may
hear tones of the tyranny of the “shoulds.” 
The inner-critic or inner- parent is full of moral injunctions.  It is the judge and jury of our
behavior.  Combine that sub-personality
with the pusher-driver part of us and you have a toxic combination.  The pusher-driver is the inner part of us
that says, “What I am doing is not good enough. 
I must always try harder.” 
Parents need to get in touch with the inner-critic and the pusher-driver
and identify with their contents and then detach.  Parents will want to rationally respond to
these sub-personalities with more reasonable ways of viewing specific
issues.  This process of rational
responding will assist in clearing up the “muddy water” when it come to
coaching and advising our own children



James P. Krehbiel,
Ed.S., LPC is an author, freelance writer, and cognitive-behavioral therapist
practicing in Scottsdale,
Arizona.  He
personal growth book, Stepping Out ofthe Bubble is available at  He can be reached at

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