ISSUE 137 ISSN 1712-468

The thing that impresses me most
about America is the way
parents obey their children.

King Edward VIII, British King
1894 – 1972

This Week's Inspiration

The Lost Art of Parenting!


The raising of a child; the taking care of someone in the manner of a parent

In prior ezines, I have referenced The Dog Whisper from the Discovery Channel. Host Caesar Milan's tagline is that he rehabilitates dogs and trains people.

In many of the shows, dog owners insist the unruly behavior of their dog is not their fault. In most cases, Caesar is able to adjust the dog's conduct in just a few minutes through his method of providing consistent structure, discipline, and affection. Even after Caesar helps change a dog's behavior, many owners still deny they were to blame for their dog's previous actions. The fact remains that they did create the outcomes.

The process of parenting kids is not exactly the same as raising dogs but the principles are the same. Parenting skills or lack of parenting skills determine a child's behavior.

Have you ever been in a grocery store when a 5-year-old is being allowed to control the environment? Recently my mother-in-law was in line at a checkout counter. A 5-year-old was acting-up and his mother was belittling and threatening the child. Appalled, my mother-in-law bent down and in less than a minute, calmed the child with love and firmness. Then she corrected the mother for her poor behavior.

Last week, a 12-year-old in Vancouver was abducted and sexually assaulted after getting off a bus. What was a 12-year-old doing on a bus on her own at 2:30 on a Sunday morning?

A year ago, one of the girls in my daughter's Grade 7 class arrived at a school event looking like a streetwalker. Her parents are nice people and well-to-do. Their daughter, an only child, does what she wants. Her parents provide no guidance, no structure, no consequences, and no responsibilities—and it shows.

Many of today's parents are abdicating their responsibilities by not providing leadership and guidance for their children.

Labels like terrible 2s and teenage rebels must be banished! That mindset only breeds what you don't want. How about terrific 2s and responsible teenagers? You get what you talk about and what you expect.

Parents' capabilities affect the well-being of their children.

Research conducted by the Gottman Institute proved that the emotional bond and content between parent and child is critical to child development. He discovered that parents who did five simple things with their kids were able to produce an entirely different development trajectory than the parents who did not.

What five practices did those parents implement?

  1. They were aware of the child's emotions.
  2. They recognized emotional expression as an opportunity for intimacy and teaching instead of punitive or negative feedback.
  3. They listened empathetically and validated the child's feelings.
  4. They engaged the child's emotions in words the child understood.
  5. They coached the child to come up with an appropriate way to solve a problem or deal with an upsetting issue or situation.

In his research, Dr. Gottman has found that children of parents who coached them on their emotions have more general abilities with their own emotions than children who are not coached by their parents. In other words, the "coached" children grow up to become what Dan Goleman calls "emotionally intelligent" people.

What are the characteristics of emotion-coached children?

By the way, emotional intelligence levels have been linked directly to success in all areas of life.

Contrary to the liberal parenting models of the past, young children require discipline and structure; they should not be permitted to make their own decisions. I recall one of my relatives asking her 8-year-old whether or not she wanted to attend a family event. I thought to myself, Are you kidding?

Other Parenting Myths

Every child and person has a purpose. The sooner you can connect individuals—even teenagers—to their passions and purpose, the more emotionally healthy and productive they will become.

Remember: The emotional capabilities of parents influence
the condition of their children.

The following resources apply to everyone over 15 years of age.

To help you on your journey to confirm your beliefs and purpose in all areas in your life, I recommend my 88-page workbook, My Source EXPERIENCE Journal™. It will take you on a personal discovery that to help you confirm and affirm your passions in life.

As additional building blocks, I also suggest CRG's Values Preference Indicator, Self-Worth Inventory, Stress Indicator and Health Planner, and the Personal Style Indicator.

To help you establish and verify the beliefs you really want, follow these Action Steps and complete the recommended resources.

This Week's Action Steps

The Lost Art of Parenting!

  1. We don't have child behavioral problems; we have parenting capability problems.

  2. If you are a parent, have you taken responsibility for the emotional intelligence of your children?

  3. Even if your kids are grown up or you don't have kids, you likely have relatives who have kids. Are you seen as an emotional coach to them?

  4. How would you or others rate your parenting capabilities? What could you do to improve?

  5. Apply the five practices that emotionally grounded parents implement with their kids.
    1. Be aware of your child's emotions.
    2. Recognize emotional expression as an opportunity for intimacy and teaching instead of punitive or negative feedback.
    3. Listen empathetically and validate the child's feelings.
    4. Engage the child's emotions in words he or she understands.
    5. Coach your child to come up with an appropriate way to solve a problem and deal with an upsetting issue or situation.

  6. Another study showed you reduce teenager drug-abuse by the simple act of having dinner together as a family.

  7. Become involved with your child's life. Go to the games, attend the concerts, and so on. This week, my son accomplished his first flight-training toward becoming a pilot. Two sets of grandparents and his immediate family were all in attendance to enjoy the moment with him.

  8. Sorry. Online and room privacy does not apply to kids under 19. We monitor our kids' online interactions; their rooms are public domain.

  9. Everyone has a purpose, passions, and gifts. The sooner you can get your kids connected to their purpose, passions and gifts, the better.

  10. To help you or kids 15 and older get clearer on personal passion, calling, and purpose, I encourage you to engage the process outlined step-by-step in My Source EXPERIENCE Journal™ A Personal Discovery Process for Those Who Want to Lead a Passionate and Fulfilling Life.

  11. Benchmark your gifts, talents, and preferences by using CRG assessments. Your results will assist you to establish your beliefs with confidence and clarity. As part of the clarification process, we recommend three specific assessments.

  12. Parenting is a great gift and a privilege; it also is a responsibility we all must take seriously. Our future depends on it.

Until next time, keep Living On Purpose!

Ken Keis

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