This is what I call advanced parenting! As parents, we feel that everything that we do is in our child’s best interest. There is almost never opportunity as parents for us to be selfish. It is not selfish to acknowledge that it would make life easier if our children would just stop a bad behavior or activity. That is just common sense! However, a deeply honest assessment of our agenda may reveal that our motives are a bit more self-centered than is beneficial to the overall situation.
2 pitfalls to be aware of when assessing your agenda: Angst and Effigy
Angst: Angst can really creep into a desperate situation and become a primary motivator demanding immediate action. The more desperate the situation, the more vital the appropriate approach. However, the presence of angst is actually a red flag that we are NOT ready to take action regarding the situation. It is a great indicator that we need to slow down long enough for our thoughts to resume the lead over our emotions. We may be feeling like there is not a moment to lose. However, an action taken in angst can cause collateral damage that may have more severe long-term effects on our child than that of the original situation. When angst sets in remember to S.T.O.P!
Talk it out with a trusted friend or in some cases seek outside help
Own and acknowledge your feelings
Pray for guidance, discernment, strength and p.a.t.i.e.n.c.e!
Dangerous behaviors must be stopped in the act or as soon as possible. But this is the only thing that should ever be rushed. A quick fix is like putting a band-aid on an open wound. It may work as a temporary solution, but if it isn’t followed up by more specialized care, it is guaranteed to bleed through and possibly even run the risk of infection. Denying the necessary attention for too long may increase the need for a higher form of care and may even result in devastating long term effects.
Effigy: Our agenda may also become misguided when we lose sight of why it is important for our children to practice good behavior. Good behavior is vital to our child’s social acceptance and ultimate success in life on all fronts. The danger evolves when we allow this truth to distort our motives. This can cause a downward spiral.
- We find ourselves suddenly more concerned with the opinion of “others” than we are with the well being of our children.
- We give in to this inferred form of peer pressure.
- We pass that pressure along to our children.
- We more than infer to our children that they should perform for and meet the expectations of “others” at the sacrifice of our children’s self-esteem and ultimate good.
This denies our children the opportunity to CHOOSE good behavior and TAKE OWNERSHIP of their development. Ultimately, we may stop the immediate behavior, but we miss the target entirely of our ultimate goal to raise our children to be strong adults of high integrity and moral character.
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