Stone Soup for Five: Parenting Best Practices #1

Parenting Best Practices #1

I'm a gatherer.
And a sharer.

I gather things: food, useless facts, books, office supplies, information, etc.
And I like to share them:  freezer meals, trying to sound somewhat intelligent, tidbits from books, ...well, I don't like to share office supplies.  I like to buy them, sort them, use them occasionally... but you get the idea.

And I've learned a term that probably everyone in the known universe had known but me:
Best Practices

In business books, this term is used in the context of "Study successful people's best practices".  What do successful people, in the field you are interested in, actually DO?  What is their schedule? What does their routine look like? What are their guiding ideals?

So, I've taken that term and started gathering information on the best practices of people who I would like to become.

What are Jesus' best practices?  So far I've gathered a short list: teaching with hope, quiet time away, prayer.  There's more, but I haven't got there yet.

What are successful bloggers' best practices?  Regular posts, finding their "voice", writing about things they are passionate about.  Working when they don't feel like it.  Learning new tech, experimenting.

What are successful parents' best practices?

This brings me to this post... and the future posts I want to keep writing, so I can solidify them in my head and make thoughtful application.  (Most of this blog's posts are really just me trying to get my thoughts organized enough that they will make words in some kind of order and hopefully help me wrap my brain around.)

So today, I'm going to dive into something I learned not from a parenting book, but more of a self-help book, called The Success Principles by Jack Canfield.  

On page 236 he talks about transforming your inner critic into your inner coach and he gives you a way to tell yourself the "true truth" about what your critic is slamming you about.

He says the true truth has a complete message and is usually in four parts.  An incomplete message from your inner critic is usually only one part, the painful slam-you-on-the-ground-you're-worthless part.

So how does this relate to parenting?

It requires the true truth to get past the "you are SO FRUSTRATING, you'll NEVER CHANGE" attitude I often have toward my teen sons, to the coaching and building up and relationship growing truth.

Oh, and before I forget, the four parts are:  Anger, Fear, Requests, and Love.

Here's how it played out last night:

I was SO MAD at my 16 year old (and myself) because he told me he had finished the chore required for him to play video games.  I did not make the time to double check, and he went and played video games and we continued on our day.  At 9:00 that night, I realized that they were, in fact, NOT DONE and was ticked.  I said a few frustrated thoughts, then went and took a shower and these four parts of the true truth kicked in.  I needed to tell him the whole truth, not just slam him for not completing his work, YET AGAIN.

So after my shower, I pulled him aside and tried it.  Not sure if it would work (still not sure if it clicked) but I had to try.  It went down like this:

"I am so frustrated that you didn't fully complete the chore I told you to do.  I realize that you thought complete meant "started the load of laundry", and I am frustrated that I didn't follow through to let you know specifically that complete means washed, dried, and put away."  <--that's the anger part.

"I am afraid if you don't learn to work with completeness and thoroughness and excellence that it will screw up not only any future jobs, but also your family."  <-- that's the fear.

"I want you to be able to be dependable, to be reliable, and to be trustworthy.  Please follow completely though on a task till it's done and ASK if you aren't sure!" <-- requests

"You are an amazing kid.  You are so gifted and so loved and this will help make you an even better person.  It's not the laundry that is a big deal, it's the responsibility that is going to shape you into a great man."  <-- that's the love.

Let me say again, I'm not sure if it reached through to him, he had very little reaction, but I feel like it was a step in the right direction.

That is your Parenting Best Practices #1.  I hope to tag all these with PBP and add more as I glean them, to help you AND me (especially me) be intentional about the things that matter.

Let me know if you try it and how it goes!

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting it. I'm not a Mom, but I can use this in all my relationships. I've shared this on our Facebook page. Blessings on you and yours. Deb in Milwaukee, WI


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