Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Parenting Overview

I can sum up Rosemond parenting principles is just a couple of sentences!

Under this parenting style, a child chooses to follow the legitimate authority and leadership of his parents.  His parents convey their loving leadership with clear, authoritative direction that does not give explanations and pays only a little attention to the child’s feelings, wishes, and wants. The parent conveys his expectation with a few clear, concise words and does not enter into arguments or discussions about his directions.

There you have it!  It sounds terribly simple and at its heart, it is.  What complicates the matter is typical parental unwillingness to make children the least bit unhappy.  So parents argue, and explain and negotiate and change the directions to try and make the child happy with whatever is going on.  But so often, your child does not really know what is best for him or what he really wants and the more this drama continues, the more he misbehaves.  When a parent insists on proper behavior, the child will become more secure and thereby happier and more obedient.

Most parents are perfectly comfortable with leadership, authoritative speech for a visit to the doctor.  They say things like, “You need to come home right after school today because you have a doctor’s appointment at 4:00.”

Only a very few parents would say: “Hey it is time for your physical. Would you like to go see Dr. Smith?  He is such a nice man.  Won’t that be fun?  Is it ok with you if we go?  Is today a good day or would you like me to change it for you?”

And even if the child grumbles and whines that he doesn’t want to go, most parents will not enter into much discussion about it.  They know health care is in the child’s best interests and that is just the way it is going to be.

When parents want their child’s attention, they need to claim it simply, clearly and concisely.  A direction to: pick up toys, come to the dinner table, turn off the tv, start getting ready for bed, stay by my side at the store, stop hitting your brother - should be given just as simply as the doctor announcement.
That is Rosemond parenting in a nutshell.  Now if your children aren’t used to such direction, it is going to take awhile and a few interventions to convince them that you have chosen to claim your legitimate authority.  But indeed it can be done when a parent  commits himself to leading his children.  More on how in future postings!

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