First Connect, Then Guide
The best parents are the ones who are deeply connected with their children and offer support and guidance all along the path of life. They’re the ones who care enough to say, “No, you can’t do that, because I love you too much to let you settle for that.” And their children know that they mean it.
Good parenting is about being confident that you have a far higher calling than to just be a friend or dish out punishment. It is about being an authority who loves always and takes the time to guide and train a child to grow into an independent person. It is about being the one who plants love, truth, and hope into the mind of a child.
Ultimately, children are far less likely to engage in problem behaviors when they feel deeply loved, known, and respected by their parents. Author Danny Silk writes, “The goal isn’t to get them to clean their room; it is to strengthen the connection to your heart. We will deal with the room, but if we lose the connection, we’ve lost the big stuff. We may win the battle, but we’ve lost the war.”
At times, parenting is the toughest job in the world, especially in those early years when it is so difficult to communicate with a hysterical three-year-old, or in the “second toddlerhood” of adolescence. And yet, once a healthy, loving, authoritative relationship is established, it is not so hard anymore. In fact, it is not only deeply satisfying, it can be fun. It may take some guidance to get there though.
All parents can be better than they once were. It is never too late, although the longer you wait, the more difficult it gets.
Middle school is the crucial time when the window of opportunity is still open. It is a time of tremendous change, not just for kids but for families. Parenting 10-14 years olds can be the most challenging of all the stages of development. And that is why I wrote my book, which will be released very soon.
Critical Connection is for parents of young teens who have said:
- “So much is changing. I just don’t get my daughter any more. I don’t want her to slip away.”
- “My son wants to spend every moment on some sort of electronic screen.”
- “My daughter has these extreme mood swings and her social life is such a big deal now.”
- “I am not sure how to discipline my son now. He’s not a little boy anymore.”
- “I don’t know what to do about the smartphone.”
While this may seem overwhelming, the truth is that being a young teen can be wonderful. Kids at this stage of development may not admit it, but they need a stronger connection with their parents than ever before. But since so much is changing in the child, the same old bonding techniques may not work any more. Wise parents will seek after a better understanding of the age and try new ways to connect with and guide their children. If that resonates with you, then I think you will like my book.