The assumption I made at school was that everyone’s parents were just like mine.
At school I remember befriending someone who was significantly overweight, very quiet, sometimes isolated and not part of any group. He was different and I did not know how I could help.
The experiences my friend shared with me highlighted the contrast of parenting.
It turns out my friend had a very quiet mother who disappeared in the background and a very powerful and dictating father. In effect life for him was just like he did not have a mother at all.
My friend did not feel loved and he really had no sense of belonging. All he had was constant challenges and abuse from his father which left him feeling alone, confused, feeling exhausted and all burnt out.
He was somewhat angry, and slightly unpredictable. He had little confidence and possessed a rebellious attitude. He did not have a lot of respect generally and none for the law.
He did not have any future plans and he could not see his many talents.
He was quite intelligent however he had a very different view of his reality. He was not up for any personal challenges at all, it seemed he already had enough challenges to last him a life time.
My home was so different and had the perfect balance of support and challenge. I was immediately hooked into what made parents either good or bad.
These days I know parents to be either effective parents and if not they are simply ineffective parents. I do not see parents as bad parents or good parents.
The reason is that the result comes from whether a parent is taking effective action or not. This implies changes are possible and hence the label on parenting is unnecessary.
In my friends case he had a lot of rules and no relationship of love.
As a child I also remember having a friend who lived in a high rise housing commission flat. In this complex almost all the children had one parent and usually only a mum as in his case.
This friend had a mother who was more like a friend and this was a common theme amongst others that lived there. There were not a lot of rules and there was certainly a lot of chaos here and there.
It would not be uncommon for police to be visiting children in the complex who all largely felt they were not responsible for any part of their life.
I see so much potential in our children today. If we concentrate on a balance of relationship and rules we could avoid the behaviours observed in my two friends. Neither one or the other is any use on its own, they need to co-exist.
Together the result is respect and responsibility which allow a great entry to adult life. This highlights the value of parenting as a team.
The the motherly role and the fatherly role both have a significant part to play.
5 Important Tips for Effective Parenting
- Kids do not need another friend they need a parent to be a parent.
- There needs to be a balance of freedom and responsibility.
- Concentrate on effective and non-effective actions.
- Look for change and look for balance.
- Avoid both overpowering and passive parenting.