Part One left us talking about the importance of self-control and developing this skill in our children in order that they not become grownups who cannot control themselves.
Dealing with NO forms part of learning to have self-control. As parents and teachers, ‘no’ can leave us paralysed with no idea how to respond. Eventually we end up losing control and handing control of our actions and words to a child.
In order for us to create an environment at Little Heroes that reflects what we value we have discovered that we need to be intentional about responding to the mistakes our children make in love, and not react to the behaviour that we see.
- Taking Responsibility for Your Mistake
We encourage them to fix their mistake, whatever it may be. We empower them to take responsibility for their actions and not to blame. Learning responsibility is key here.
We must think ahead to the future we want when we make decisions with young children. When they have not practiced decision making and do not know that they are responsible to fix their mistakes, children become teens that are much harder to live with.
As parents, we see our role as disciplining our children so that they will be well behaved and not embarrass us, or let down the family name. We will do whatever it takes to ensure that other people think we are amazing because of the way our children behave.
In order to ensure that these parenting goals are met, it is very common for parents to prepare the road for the child rather than the child for the road. They pre-empt and go ahead of their children and do all that they can to control the child and the circumstances their children may face so that their children will be happy.
I was recently chatting to a friend who was sharing about what a tough time their son had been through recently and how really hard she had found it and how powerless she felt because, and I quote, “the sole reason she was put on this planet was to make her son happy.”
If our children aren’t perfect and happy, we think we’ve failed!
Because of this everything is done for the child (in the name of love). The fruit of this snow plough, lawn mower, or helicopter parenting as it is now being called, is entitlement, helplessness, impatience, insecurity, anxiety, fear, and powerlessness.
And this has happened at the expense of freedom and can’t be called “love”. The result of helicopter parenting is that children are imprisoned, restricted, literally rendered powerless and unequipped for life when homes and classrooms are characterised by fear and control.
At Little Heroes, perfection is not the goal, but progress is celebrated. Clearing all obstacles is not the goal, rather using every opportunity – good, sad, painful or challenging – to teach valuable life skills in a safe, loving environment is what we strive for.
By Barbara Cooper – Principal
Many of these thoughts and ideas are based on materials by Danny and Sheri Silk and Brittney Serpell (www.lovingonpurpose.com), and Lauren and Seth Dahl (www.sethdahl.com). Please refer to their websites for further resources.