Saturday, November 19, 2011

6 A's of Good Parenting

I get a daily Family First email and sometimes the topics hit home...this one in particular hit home like a ton of oh man I have a lot to learn and a lot of work to do. 

Parenting is all about relating. The better our relationship with our children, the better are our chances at effective parenting. Youth expert, Josh McDowell, believes there are six factors that play into good parenting. He calls them the 6 A’s.
1. Affirmation - this one is hard for me, I always want to control the situation or fix it, downplay it so that they don't think its a big deal if something doesn't go there way, but really what they need from me is affirmation. "When we affirm a child’s feelings it gives them a sense of authenticity...Even when we don’t agree with our children, we can still affirm their feelings and them as individuals."

2. Acceptance - there are times when this one is easier than others, but at the end of the day this one is all about loving them for who they are, and making sure they are secure in our acceptance. "When you give unconditional acceptance you give a child a sense of security...Our love and affection should not be based on grades, behavior or achievements"

3. Appreciation - "When we express appreciation it gives a child a sense of significance...the more we “catch” our children doing things right, and we express our appreciation, the more motivated they will be to behave better." I can speak first hand to this one, when I say THANK YOU or tell the girls how much it means to me that they told the truth or did something the first time I asked they grin from ear to ear.

4. Availability - "When we are available to our children it gives them a sense of importance...So when our kids come to us, our response should be to stop, drop and listen. Stop what we’re doing, drop to our knees, and listen to them, hug them, play with them" - I am ashamed to admit that I have a lot of work to do on this one.  I have a hard time unplugging sometimes, I will come home still be dealing with an email and have trouble putting it aside until after they are in bed.  I need them to know just how important they are to me, and I never want them to feel like they are second to anything in my life.

5. Affection - "When we show our children affection it gives them a sense of lovability." I can actually pat myself on the back for this one, I am all over those little buggers.  Not a single day goes by that I don't plant a wet one on them several times a day. I can't get enough snuggles!

6. Accountability - "When we hold children accountable it gives them a sense of responsibility and self-control. Children need the disciplines of responsibility and self-control to function successfully in life. As parents, we must create rules and boundaries for our children. Once those guidelines are set, we must be consistent in enforcing them" I am batting about .350 in this category. Sometimes I feel like I am full of rules and too strict, other times, when I am exhausted or feeling worn down I tend to give in and roll over...this one needs some work too and based on some recent conversations around Avery's behavior this might be the first area to focus on.

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