Like most parents, my partner and I work hard to develop our children into healthy, well-adjusted people. We want them to have the skills to pursue whatever objectives they choose for themselves in this world.
None of us are perfect parents, and we all learn from the past. The purpose of this article is to pass on one of our experiences. It had a profound effect on the way we approach the parenting game.
A few years ago, our two children were aged two and four. Over a period of weeks, one of our boys had become increasingly naughty. His behavior was rubbing off on his brother. Mum and dad had explored the usual discipline options but nothing seemed to work.
Eventually, as my partner and I discussed the boy’s behavior, we decided that there must be a trigger. If we could find it, we thought we could perhaps affect a change for the better.
We wound back the clock to the time when the behavior change emerged, then looked at what we had all been doing at around that time.
As it turned out, the onset corresponded with a time when my job was being restructured and my partner was as worried as I about the outcome. We were both focussed on ourselves and quite naturally were exhibiting signs of stress.
The result of this pressure was that we had very little time for our children, and they were not getting the attention they needed from us.
We decided to try an experiment. We set aside all our other priorities for the weekend and spend time with boys. Nothing special, just being with them and giving them quality time.
Their behaviors changed almost instantly. And it was a change for the better.
This small experience had a profound effect on the way we approach parenting. We learned that the behaviors of our children are significantly affected by our own behaviors.
We are now a lot more careful about the amount of time we spend with our boys. When there is a behavioral change from them, we look to ourselves first then check the external influences before we choose a course of action.
Parenting is a wonderful journey, full of twists turns, and surprises. I hope that by sharing this small part of our life it will help you in yours.