Help Us Reach Couples All Over the World.
Sunday, November 16, 2014
If we are going to have true intimacy in our marriages, we have to disarm the issues that hinder it. One of those is anger. Anger can be destructive in a marriage.
The first thing I want you to know is that anger is inevitable. It's a normal response. You will never be so spiritual that you don't get angry. Jesus even got angry. Great marriages still have anger.
Anger that occurs today is manageable. There's nothing wrong with it. But yesterday's anger is a very dangerous thing. Ephesians 4:26-27 says, "Be angry, and do not sin: Do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil."
What that passage means is that anger, if it is not dealt with, can become toxic and destructive. It can harden hearts. It has to be resolved in righteous way. If it is not dealt with—if you let the sun "go down" on it—then it builds in intensity for the next time.
God never designed us to be a repository for anger. We are made for anger to enter for a brief time, and then leave. Never to stay. That's why the Bible is so insistent on forgiveness, because we can't endure it. Unforgiveness and pent-up anger are corrosive on every level.
Anger leads to a whole system of thoughts—fear, accusations, pride—that can create a destructive barrier between you and your spouse. Every time anger arrives and you don't deal with it, that wall grows higher.
So we must resolve anger in marriage. How should we do it?
First, we need to choose the right setting. Don't do it around the kids. Your children need to watch you relate and talk things out, but serious issues should be handled in private when your emotions are under control.
Second, begin every confrontation with affirmation. Research indicates that a conversation never rises above the level of the first three minutes. The way you start talking to each other dictates how the conversation will end. If you begin with threats, you've already set a negative tone for the conversation.
Instead, begin by saying, "I love you and I'm glad that we're married, but I need to talk to you about something." We're made in God's image, and Psalm 100 says we enter His courts with praise—with positive words.
Finally, communicate your complaint without fixed judgments or interpretations. There's a difference between complaining and criticizing. Complaining is talking about me and my feelings, but without interpreting it—because I don't know what's in your heart.
Criticizing is an attack. It's me telling you how you're feeling and interpreting your motives. It makes the other person defensive. Complaints should be about a specific issue ("You said this and it made me feel stressed out") rather than a global one ("You never do anything around here").
Don't go to bed angry. Create in your marriage a habit pattern of dealing with it every day. When you do deal with conflict, do it the right way: respectfully, with kindness and a tender heart.
You won't be able to avoid anger, but you can avoid its destructive qualities by never letting it fester. Don't let the sun go down on your anger.
Taking time to enjoy each other and all the blessings that God gives us. Love you Baby :)
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Divorce is rotten thing, work it out.
For Gods sake what ever you do, keep the kids out of your arguments and do not use them as a tool to hurt your spouse. All that really does is hurt the child and he or she should be your main concern...think about it.
Save the kids from your fight!
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Fathers who have never made the commitment of marriage or even of sticking around.
There was a time when fatherlessness was high on account of death. But: "A surprising suggestion emerging from recent social-science research," Popenoe points out, "is that it is decidedly worse to a child to lose a father in the modern, voluntary way than through death. The children of divorced and never-married mothers are less successful by almost every measure than the children of widowed mothers ... . And there is reason to believe that having an unmarried father is even worse for a child than having a divorced father."
And the statistical analyses of the US data are showing that children from a fatherless home are:
20 times more likely to end up in prison;
32 times more likely to run away.
20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders.
14 times more likely to commit rape;
Nine times more likely to drop out of high school;
10 times more likely to abuse drugs;
Five times more likely to commit suicide;
Nine times more likely to end up in a state-operated institution;
Two times more likely to have children during their teenage years;
The litany of disaster continues in the US statistics:
85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes;
90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes;
71% of all high-school dropouts come from fatherless homes;
71% of teenage pregnancies are to children of single parents, so the cycle continues;
75% of all adolescent patients in chemical-abuse centers come from fatherless homes;
63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes;
80% of rapists come from fatherless homes;
70% of juveniles in state facilities come from fatherless homes;
85% of all incarcerated youths grew up in a fatherless home.
We ignore the problem of father absence to our peril. Of perhaps greatest concern is the lack of response from our lawmakers and policymakers, who pay lip service to the paramount importance of the "best interests of the child," yet turn a blind eye to father absence, ignoring the vast body of research on the dire consequences to children's well-being.
How appropriate that Justice Alito brought up cellphones in the recent Supreme Court hearings on the marriage cases. Because these days it seems like it is easier to get out of a marriage than it is to get out of a cellphone contract.
It is no secret that marriage is in a state of severe crisis in America. And while academics, statisticians, and pundits may quarrel about the exact divorce rate or its causes, no one would deny that the widespread legalization of no-fault divorce beginning in the early 1970s saw an explosion of divorce in this country.
Yet as social conservatives, and even many liberals, wring their hands about marital and familial breakdown, few seem to question whether our experiment with treating marriage like a restaurant experience-order what you like and send it back if you change your mind-is worth reconsidering.
Instead, no-fault divorce has become an assumed feature of the landscape of unbridled American freedom. Whereas once freedom in this country meant the right to live a good life, the ability to be a moral agent in the human enterprise, the chance to chase happiness, it now increasingly appears to mean the right to do whatever you want whenever you feel like it, regardless of whom you destroy in the process.
No-fault divorce is destroying women, children, and men. More precisely, divorce destroys marriage, and the destruction of marriage harms every party involved. The legality of no-fault divorce just makes it infinitely easier to hurt people. There are no two ways about it. No one comes out of a divorce a happier and more whole person.
Particularly offensive no-fault divorces are those where one spouse is protesting. In these cases, one spouse is literally abandoning the other (and frequently the children as well), despite having made public vows and having signed a contract before civil and religious officials stating their lifelong commitment to his or her spouse.
In this country you can come home from work and tell your spouse the marriage is over and he or she can do nothing but cry, and fight for the best financial payout possible. Try doing that with Verizon. Or while under contract to buy a home. Or with your gym membership. You'll get laughed at.
Eighty percent of divorces are unilateral. The legal sanctioning of human abandonment must end.
The family court system needs to do a much better job of keeping families together and combating the Evils of Parental Alienation.
Thursday, January 9, 2014
Honey Badger Rules of Parenting (Or Coaching!)
When my book Instructor Revolution was published, the most surprising feedback was NOT from martial art instructors but, rather, from teachers. Teachers who were frustrated dealing with parents year after year who simply make their job harder. We had many good laughs over the material. More than once it was suggested I should write a second book called “Parenting Revolution”. Great theory but I would NEVER do it. Why? Parenting is an on-going journey. I still have two kids in my home for at least 8 more years…that gives me plenty of time to screw it up! There are no real rules, no truly perfect pattern of parenting. After 22 years of parenting, and 8 more “in home” years to go, I know enough to know that sometimes I get it right, and, well, sometimes it is a crap shoot.
Regardless, there are some hard and fast rules I have learned through the years. Some were hard earned, some came easy. This blog is my Top Ten. If you can use any of them, great. If you can’t, great. If I offend you, Great. If I don’t, Great. There is a reason this is called the “Honey Badger Rules of Parenting”. Enjoy….
#1) You are in Charge. Your Kid is not. You do not need their permission to make a decision nor do you need to apologize for a decision you have made. In addition, you don’t need to explain the reason behind every thought in your head. Most of all, when you are having a conversation with someone else, it is not necessary to allow your child to interrupt the conversation every time they feel they have something to say. When they DO interrupt, it IS necessary to stop your conversation, let them know they are being rude and tell them to wait their turn. Despite the pervasive (and erroneous) belief that a child needs to express their precious thoughts as those thoughts develop, teaching them that the world does not need to come to a screeching halt every time they want to speak is a lesson that will last them a lifetime.
#2) Your Kid is Probably Not The MOST Brilliant, Amazing, Incredible human being on the earth.AND….telling them that they are does not make it so. Whatdoes work is being honest with them. We can all be encouraging to our children and help them to discover where their talents may be. After that, it is appropriate to assist them in maximizing their personal potential in those areas. It is reckless to insinuate that they are brilliant, spectacular or Unbelievable when, in fact, they may just be a little above average. A honey Badger parent doesn’t give a S*&^ about boosting their childs confidence using false praise. The HBP will be quick to point out that being an above average kid with a consistent work ethic almost always beats Raw talent that is not consistent. If a parent or teacher over states the childs ability, then the only consistent thread will be the kids skewed view of themselves.
Now, you may still think your child may be the “top of the top”, destined for greatness beyond greatness. Fair Enough. In that case, it is even MORE important that they are not constantly told how their very presence on this earth is life changing and that everyone who encounters them should throw open a door of opportunity. I guarantee that the more talented they are in WHATEVER area of life, there will many others just like them. If they really are that gifted, they will meet those other incredibly gifted people along their journey. When they meet the others, your kid better be damn hungry. Regardless where their talents lie, they are going to need to compete. High level competition is brutal ~ guaranteeing there will be a long line of people waiting to destroy your kid in an effort to take their place at the top. That doesn’t sound reassuring, does it? Well, if you spend your entire 18 year parenting period assuring them how brilliant and amazing they are, they will be easily consumed by their own self importance. It’s a hell of a lot easier to be competitive when you have actually prepared for the competition. If a child hasonly heard their parents or coaches give them glowing reviews, they aren’t even expecting competition – let alone preparing for it.
#3) Teach Your Kid The Value of Manual Labor. I could never express how absolutely incredible I feel that it is for children to work. Not for an allowance…not even for a dime. They should learn to work because it’s just the right thing to do. Are we talking about making beds and doing dishes? No. They should be doing that everyday anyway. We are talking “hands on” physical work. If you don’t have much to do around the house, just make it up. When it snows, give them a shovel and make them move snow piles around. Why? Just for the hell of it. If they ask why, just tell them it’s good for them. Make them get up early, weed the yard, cut the grass, haul things around, clean the garage…whatever. Heck, go make them move stones from one side of the yard to another and then BACK again. Who cares WHAT they do – just make them do it. Why? Manual Work teaches a strong work ethic – period. It also teaches them to appreciate the hard work of other people.
#4) Call it Like it is & Stop Making Excuses for Your Kid
- If a child is acting like a brat, it is not only fair, but necessary, to tell them that they are. Don’t sugar coat it. You don’t need to. Acting like a brat as a child translates into acting like an jackass as an adult. I think we have plenty of adults running around who could have benefitted from having their parent tell them to knock off the bratty behavior early on.
- If a child is whining – tell them to stop. It’s pretty simple. When a child at my karate center begins to whine about something hurting them (My foot is sore, my toe hurts, I have a bruise…etc), I have one quick response: “If it isn’t broken, bleeding, or falling off, I don’t want to hear about it.” I keep a very close eye on real injuries but the overwhelming majority of the time when a child comes up to tell me that they have a bruise, they are tired, they have a sore finger, etc…those are excuses to do less work. If their left leg is out of commission, I will tell them to work on the right. If both legs are hurt, they can work the core. There is always something they can do and making whiney excuses isn’t on the list.
- Knock off the crying. While parents don’t ever want to hear it, there is a time to tell a kid to stop the waterworks when they don’t get their way or they get their feelings hurt. Remember that old “ You want to cry ?I will give you something to cry about!” line from our parents and grand parents? Well, it really wasn’t such a bad line. At some point, it is fair, as a parent to say, “Toughen Up – the world doesn’t owe you a thing.” Sound harsh? If you don’t say it to them, trust me, someone else will.
#5) Shoot the Hostage. Ok, don’t get all panicky. This is not as bad as it sounds UNLESS you place the monetary value of an item higher than the value of raising a solid human being. Sometimes it takes one extreme behavior to ensure that the kids get the message fast. Parents have a bad habit of “taking things away” from a child and then giving them back too easily. It doesn’t take a child very long to figure out that routine – and they then just ride out their time without the item. Even worse, kids learn very quickly that a simple “I’m sorry” can be just the ticket to get their prized possession back.
If you really want to make an impact and get your message across while simultaneaously ensuring that you will probably NEVER have to deal with a subject again – just “Shoot the Hostage.” This term came from me listening to my kids argue over a TV many years ago. I literally felt like the TV was holding me hostage in my own living room. As long as it was there, I was constantly forced to deal with it. So, rather thanargue with the kids who were arguing over the TV – I just got rid of the TV. I took that thing out to the curb, put a sign on it that read “It’s Free and it Works” and waited for someone to pick it up. That TV was gone in 10 minutes and I went years without hearing that argument again. Problem…solved.
When your kids won’t let up over an item – just get rid of the item. I don’t care if it’s a tonka truck, an ipod or a car. If they can’t be respectful regarding it’s use, get rid of the damn thing and let them figure it out. Your swift and unpredictable action will probably be your single greatest moment of parenting. In one moment you will have demonstrated to your kid (s) that you mean business.The story will become family legend and I promise you that they will think twice The next time you say you are going to do something. Trust me, they will NOT question you.
#6) Stop Hovering! Give them some space to breathe, function, and maybe even fail. It won’t be the end of the world. It is part of learning about life. There is nothing more unimpressive than a parent who is making excuses or ensuring that everything in their world is “OK”. Once a child is around 9 or 10, They are old enough to begin working out the details of their day. Protect the big things (like safety, etc) and allow them to experience the small details.
- If they forget something for school, they can deal with the consequences. Stop running back to the school to take them homework, musical instruments or lunch bags. If they call, just say no. It’s perfectly normal to want to swoop in and make it all better, but what is the lesson there? Nothing. Let them suck it up once or twice. It’s elementary school. They will be just fine. Better to take an “F” on a third grade assignment and learn a lesson than flunk out of college at 20 years old.
- Let Teachers teach and coaches coach. Trust that your child is exactly where they need to be in order to learn whatever lesson they need to learn…and then let it go. If you don’t like your child’s teacher, or you don’t like the way their coaches work with them, voice your opinion once and then let them do their job. Some of my greatest life lessons came from people who I had the hardest time dealing with. As parents, our job is not to always ensure our children’s comfort, it is also to provide wisdom and guidance at moments when they are uncomfortable. Learning to persevere through moments of frustration, even with other people, is a critical life component. When things are tough and a parent allows their kid to quit, or to completely change the situation using outside influences, they are truly just weakening their child and setting them up for failure further down the road. Let ‘em work it out.
#7) Expect them to Behave ~ All the Time. I hear parents say, well, “Kids will be kids” in an effort to explain their bad behavior. I want to say, “You are right and you need to be the parent and tell them to knock it off.” My own kids have tried the “Well, other kids can do it.” I am a honey badger of a mother…I don’t give a shit what other kids and/or parents do.
#8) You are NOT their friend. Really, please learn this fast. We have a job. It takes about 18 years. When you decided to have a baby, you accepted the job. If you do your job well, you can be their friend after.
#9) No kid is beyond a bad decision. Not mine. Not yours. Don’t be naïve. Put a kid in a group of other kids and anything can happen. NO parent is immune from their child making a bad decision. If someone suggests that your child was involved in something less than stellar, do NOT assume they are wrong simply because you are “certain” your child could never do such a thing. Due Diligence is required here.
#10) Be a little Crazy and Unpredictable. The older kids get, the bigger issues they face. It’s not all white picket fences and lemonade stands. Making sure that your kid knows you are a little “off” is not a bad thing. Your kids AND their friends should know that you are NOT beyond showing up to check on them, sitting in their classroom, reading their email, commenting on their facebook or generally being a pain in their side until they are grown.
I have met parents who actually say that they would NEVER embarrass their child or “check up on them.” Crazy Talk. I make a Point to do those things. It pays off. Just last week, I pulled up next to a group of 13 year old boys. I recognized a few of them as boys my son knows from school. One of the boys thought it would be funny to “play” around in front of my car and block me from movng forward. Ironically, when I got out of my car to tell him to knock it off, another boy recognized me, turned to his buddy in a hurry and said, “Dude, that’s Reece’s Mom. She isn’t playin’. Stop it.” And he did. I got back in my car and watched the boys move on down the road without incident. Why? Well, apparently at least one kid had NO idea what I might do but he knew I would do something. Perfect. For that moment, I sighed and thought, “Chalk one up for all the Honey Badger Moms in the world….”
Do these ten rules make me a hard nosed mom, incapable of feeling emotion and love for my children? Hardly! It’s the opposite. When you Love your kid enough to lay down the law, be strong in the hard moments and hold your ground when all you really want to do is run to them, scoop them up and make it all better, a bell of victory rings in the parenting universe and your child moves one step forward to becoming a strong, healthy and productive adult. Remember, that is the Objective of the Job.
Parents, now go back and re-read it!
Children and young adults that read this blog, do your best to understand this post. But most of all, re-read it today and then again next week, see if the simple logic of what she says helps with the answers you are seeking.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
1. We Risk Too Little
We live in a world that warns us of danger at every turn. Toxic. High voltage. Flammable. Slippery when wet. Steep curve ahead. Don’t walk. Hazard. This “safety first” preoccupation emerged over thirty years ago with the Tylenol scare and with children’s faces appearing on milk cartons. We became fearful of losing our kids. So we put knee-pads, safety belts and helmets on them…at the dinner table. (Actually I’m just kidding on that one). But, it’s true. We’ve insulated our kids from risk.
Author Gever Tulley suggests, “If you’re over 30, you probably walked to school, played on the monkey bars, and learned to high-dive at the public pool. If you’re younger, it’s unlikely you did any of these things. Yet, has the world become that much more dangerous? Statistically, no. But our society has created pervasive fears about letting kids be independent—and the consequences for our kids are serious.”
Unfortunately, over-protecting our young people has had an adverse effect on them.
“Children of risk-averse parents have lower test scores and are slightly less likely to attend college than offspring of parents with more tolerant attitudes toward risk,” says a team led by Sarah Brown of the University of Sheffield in the UK. Aversion to risk may prevent parents from making inherently uncertain investments in their children’s human capital; it’s also possible that risk attitudes reflect cognitive ability, researchers say.” Sadly, this Scottish Journal of Political Economy report won’t help us unless we do something about it. Adults continue to vote to remove playground equipment from parks so kids won’t have accidents; to request teachers stop using red ink as they grade papers and even cease from using the word “no” in class. It’s all too negative. I’m sorry—but while I understand the intent to protect students, we are failing miserably at preparing them for a world that will not be risk-free.
Psychologists in Europe have discovered that if a child doesn’t play outside and is never allowed to experience a skinned knee or a broken bone, they frequently have phobias as adults. Interviews with young adults who never played on jungle gyms reveal they’re fearful of normal risks and commitment. The truth is, kids need to fall a few times to learn it is normal; teens likely need to break up with a boyfriend or girlfriend to appreciate the emotional maturity that lasting relationships require. Pain is actually a necessary teacher. Consider your body for a moment. If you didn’t feel pain, you could burn yourself or step on a nail and never do something about the damage and infection until it was too late. Pain is a part of health and maturity.
Similarly, taking calculated risks is all a part of growing up. In fact, it plays a huge role. Childhood may be about safety and self-esteem, but as a student matures, risk and achievement are necessities in forming their identity and confidence. Because parents have removed “risk” from children’s lives, psychologists are discovering a syndrome as they counsel teens: High Arrogance, Low Self-Esteem. They’re cocky, but deep down their confidence is hollow, because it’s built off of watching YouTube videos, and perhaps not achieving something meaningful.
According to a study by University College London, risk-taking behavior peeks during adolescence. Teens are apt to take more risks than any other age group. Their brain programs them to do so. It’s part of growing up. They must test boundaries, values and find their identity during these years. This is when they must learn, via experience, the consequences of certain behaviors. Our failure to let them risk may explain why so many young adults, between the ages of 22 and 35 still live at home or haven’t started their careers, or had a serious relationship. Normal risk taking at fourteen or fifteen would have prepared them for such decisions and the risks of moving away from home, launching a career or getting married.
2. We Rescue Too Quickly
This generation of young people has not developed some of the life skills kids did thirty years ago because adults swoop in and take care of problems for them. We remove the need for them to navigate hardships. May I illustrate?
Staff from four universities recently told me they encountered students who had never filled out a form or an application in their life. Desiring to care for their kids, and not disadvantage them, parents or teachers had always done it for them.
One freshman received a C- on her project and immediately called her mother, right in the middle of her class. After interrupting the class discussion with her complaint about her poor grade, she handed the cell phone to her professor and said, “She wants to talk to you.” Evidently, mom wanted to negotiate the grade.
A Harvard Admissions Counselor reported a prospective student looked him in the eye and answered every question he was asked. The counselor felt the boy’s mother must have coached him on eye-contact because he tended to look down after each response. Later, the counselor learned the boy’s mom was texting him the answers every time a question came in.
A college president said ma mother of one of his students called him, saying she’d seen that the weather would be cold that day and wondered if he would make sure her son was wearing his sweater as he went to class. She wasn’t joking.
This may sound harsh, but rescuing and over-indulging our children is one of the most insidious forms of child abuse. It’s “parenting for the short-term” and it sorely misses the point of leadership—to equip our young people to do it without help. Just like muscles atrophy inside of a cast due to disuse, their social, emotional, spiritual and intellectual muscles can shrink because they’re not exercised. For example, I remember when and where I learned the art of conflict resolution. I was eleven years old, and everyday about fifteen boys would gather after school to play baseball. We would choose sides and umpire our games. Through that consistent exercise, I learned to resolve conflict. I had to. Today, if the kids are outside at all, there are likely four mothers present doing the conflict resolution for them.
The fact is, as students experience adults doing so much for them, they like it at first. Who wouldn’t? They learn to play parents against each other, they learn to negotiate with faculty for more time, lenient rules, extra credit and easier grades. This actually confirms that these kids are not stupid. They learn to play the game. Sooner or later, they know “someone will rescue me.” If I fail or “act out,” an adult will smooth things over and remove any consequences for my misconduct. Once again, this isn’t even remotely close to how the world works. It actually disables our kids.
3. We Rave Too Easily
The self-esteem movement has been around since Baby Boomers were kids, but it took root in our school systems in the 1980s. We determined every kid would feel special, regardless of what they did, which meant they began hearing remarks like:
- “You’re awesome!”
- “You’re smart.”
- “You’re gifted.”
- “You’re super!”
Attend a little league awards ceremony and you soon learn: everyone’s a winner. Everyone gets a trophy. They all get ribbons. We meant well—but research is now indicating this method has unintended consequences. Dr. Carol Dweck wrote a landmark book called, Mindset. In it she reports findings about the adverse affects of praise. She tells of two groups of fifth grade students who took a test. Afterward, one group was told, “You must be smart.” The other group was told, “You must have worked hard.” When a second test was offered to the students, they were told that it would be harder and that they didn’t have to take it. Ninety percent of the kids who heard “you must be smart” opted not to take it. Why? They feared proving that the affirmation may be false. Of the second group, most of the kids chose to take the test, and while they didn’t do well, Dweck’s researchers heard them whispering under their breath, “This is my favorite test.” They loved the challenge. Finally, a third test was given, equally as hard as the first one. The result? The first group of students who were told they were smart, did worse. The second group did 30% better. Dweck concludes that our affirmation of kids must target factors in their control. When we say “you must have worked hard,” we are praising effort, which they have full control over. It tends to elicit more effort. When we praise smarts, it may provide a little confidence at first but ultimately causes a child to work less. They say to themselves, “If it doesn’t come easy, I don’t want to do it.”
What’s more, kids eventually observe that “mom” is the only one who thinks they’re “awesome.” No one else is saying it. They begin to doubt the objectivity of their own mother; it feels good in the moment, but it’s not connected to reality.
Further, Dr. Robert Cloninger, at Washington University in St. Louis has done brain research on the prefrontal cortex, which monitors the reward center of the brain. He says the brain has to learn that frustrating spells can be worked through. The reward center of our brains learns to say: Don’t give up. Don’t stop trying. “A person who grows up getting too frequent rewards,” Cloninger says, “will not have persistence, because they’ll quit when the rewards disappear.”
When we rave too easily, kids eventually learn to cheat, to exaggerate and lie and to avoid difficult reality. They have not been conditioned to face it. A helpful metaphor when considering this challenge is: inoculation. When you get inoculated, a nurse injects a vaccine, which actually exposes you to a dose of the very disease your body must learn to overcome. It’s a good thing. Only then do we develop an immunity to it. Similarly, our kids must be inoculated with doses of hardship, delay, challenges and inconvenience to build the strength to stand in them.
Eight Steps Toward Healthy Leadership
Obviously, negative risk taking should be discouraged, such as smoking, alcohol, illegal drugs, etc. In addition, there will be times our young people do need our help, or affirmation. But—healthy teens are going to want to spread their wings. They’ll need to try things on their own. And we, the adults, must let them. Here are some simple ideas you can employ as you navigate these waters:
- Help them take calculated risks. Talk it over with them, but let them do it. Your primary job is to prepare your child for how the world really works.
- Discuss how they must learn to make choices. They must prepare to both win and lose, not get all they want and to face the consequences of their decisions.
- Share your own “risky” experiences from your teen years. Interpret them. Because we’re not the only influence on these kids, we must be the best influence.
- Instead of tangible rewards, how about spending some time together? Be careful you aren’t teaching them that emotions can be healed by a trip to the mall.
- Choose a positive risk taking option and launch kids into it (i.e. sports, jobs, etc). It may take a push but get them used to trying out new opportunities.
- Don’t let your guilt get in the way of leading well. Your job is not to make yourself feel good by giving kids what makes them or you feel better when you give it.
- Don’t reward basics that life requires. If your relationship is based on material rewards, kids will experience neither intrinsic motivation nor unconditional love.
- Affirm smart risk-taking and hard work wisely. Help them see the advantage of both of these, and that stepping out a comfort zone usually pays off.
Bottom line? Your child does not have to love you every minute. He’ll get over the disappointment of failure but he won’t get over the effects of being spoiled. So let them fail, let them fall, and let them fight for what they really value. If we treat our kids as fragile, they will surely grow up to be fragile adults. We must prepare them for the world that awaits them. Our world needs resilient adults not fragile ones.
A friend sent me this and I had to post it here. It has great insight and advise!