Parenting Begins with the Parent

The Coaches Corner is starting a new five-part series on parenting.  With everything going on in the news and in our nation, we thought it would be good to have discussion about what we as parents can do to better equip our youth to think for themselves and have a more positive impact in their circle of life.  Most people usually comment about parenting by saying, “I did not read the book on kids” or “When I become a parent there was no book that tells you how to raise children” which we should know by now that is just not true.

There are numerous books in public libraries on parenting. Magazines, research-based articles, and self-help books materials and multiple talk show programs. Most day time talk shows have celebrity hosts that invite experts on their show to explain better ways to parent.  This information includes research which means they have studied kids and families for years to acquire this information to inform others on better ways to raise children. A lot of the authors of these materials are parents themselves and have learned from trial and error as well as gathered data from studies that cover the most common family dynamics whether functional or dysfunctional.

So why are so many of our children entering school socially un-prepared to handle a structured classroom setting?  Why so many chronic reports of behavioral problems in our schools? Our high school students don’t know how to interview for jobs and or network in a room full of colleges and universities looking to recruit new students at the college fair. We even continue to produce college/university graduates that have the book knowledge of their field but lack the character and interpersonal skills to excel at their job and or career.  These skills may sound small to most; however, they begin at home with parents training and teaching manners and common courtesy.  Since 1980 there has been a drop and decrease in parents really being present and seriously engaged with their children. When a parent neglects a child or does not engage at the level of the child’s need, many variables come into play for that child.  They become subject to their environment and their community and if those areas are not healthy then the dysfunction of thought and behavior begins for that child.

This is not to say that children do not need opportunities to figure things out but that comes more when they mature and age. When they are infants, toddlers, and even adolescents they need guidance and teaching because they can not do that properly for themselves.  It takes years to learn to communicate needs, negotiate, express thoughts and feelings. Learning boundaries and cultural standards as well as family values and self-worth in the mist of all these other things. Learning how to lose with a good attitude, problem solving, asking for help, and managing anger and emotions.

When we don’t engage and spend quality time with our children and dissect what they heard in class or saw on that reality television program.  We fail them because we leave it up to them to make their own conclusions based on their few years on the earth. As the adults and as parents it is imperative we be honest with ourselves and deal with what we see to be an issue or conflict in the future interest of our children.  Parenting begins with the parent first.  Parenting does not require you to be perfect.  But parenting demands your best even if that means getting help to do so. Lightening your load of issues as a parent allows you the emotional and mental capacity to deal with and care for your child with a clear head and less weight on your shoulders.  This benefits you and your child.  It gives your child the attentiveness necessary for their development. In return you as the parent grow in character and self-worth because you are producing an awesome human being that will hopefully grow-up to do the same thing.

So, let’s go get it America! Let us do what it takes to better ourselves as adults, so our children can emulate and even exceed our example!  One parent said it best, “Parenting is not for sissies.  You have to sacrifice and grow-up.”-Jillian Michaels, Trainer and TV Personality.

“Healthy Living Begins with Healthy Thinking”

Joseph Briscoe

Life Coach

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